News
From bad to worse for workers in Lebanon

Fafo and ILO have conducted a study on the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable workers in Lebanon.

The country was already experiencing serious financial, economic and political challenges when hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic added yet another challenge to vulnerable workers in Lebanon, particularly Syrian refugees. The majority of workers were employed without written contracts, social security coverage or health coverage before the onset of the pandemic. 60 percent of Syrians and 39 percent of Lebanese workers have already been permanently laid-off since the outbreak of the pandemic.

To follow the situation further, this study will be complemented by new surveys in the months to come.

05. June 2020

Researchers have developed alternatives for dietary supplements for moderately malnourished children in Ethiopia, based on local ingredients rather than conventional dietary supplements. This has proven to be a good alternative, according to a randomized controlled trial conducted by Anne Hatløy and her fellow researchers, summarized in a new scientific paper.

Since the Taliban recently took power in Afghanistan, international attention has been brought to professional women and female athletes who have been evacuated because they are in need for protection. Fafos Ingunn Bjørkhaug has together with Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (UiO / PRIO), Adele Garnier (Université Laval, Canada) and Astrid Espegren (NORCE) written a post in Global Policy where they discuss the recent events in Afghanistan. The selection of women for resettlement has traditionally happened through the lens of vulnerability, but the evacuation of the Afghans marks a rupture with the traditional selection criteria of vulnerable women-at-risk. In this post the authors discuss whether the evacuation of the educated refugee woman is the start of a new emerging resettlement category of vulnerable women. It further discusses what potential long-term impact this might have for resettlement and refugee protection.

GROWNUT was a North-South-South partnership between universities in Norway, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa, aiming to build capacity in public health research in low-income countries. Anne Hatløy has written an article (open access) which serve to evaluate the project.

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To what extent have welfare attitudes changed as a new Chinese social security system has emerged? Drawing on nationally representative datasets from the China Inequality and Distributive Justice Survey Project for 2004, 2009 and 2014, a new study by Kristin Dalen finds that support for government provision of welfare has increased substantially within all population groups since 2004. Furthermore, traditional social cleavages, such as the urban–rural divide, seem to lose strength as a predictor of redistributive preference, possibly "deactivating" these social cleavages as vehicles of political mobilisation.

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As part of an ongoing series, Fafo has co-authored a study on the pandemic’s impacts on Jordanian enterprises one year after the first lockdown was introduced. The report finds negative impacts on enterprises of all sizes, and across all sectors. However, it has been particularly harmful to micro and small businesses.

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One year ago, massive explosions destroyed most of the Port of Beirut and flattened surrounding neighbourhoods. Fafo has co-authored a report on how the disaster has affected nearby enterprises. The resulting closures and lay-offs further worsened the pessimistic outlook caused by Lebanon’s deep political and economic crisis and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On June 17, 2021 Kristin Dalen will defend her doctoral thesis for the PhD Degree at the University of Bergen. The title of the thesis is "Chinese Views on Welfare: Social Policy and Political Support".

This article investigates perceptions of secondary migration to Europe and North America among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, based on qualitative interviews conducted in 2019. Author Guri Tyldum describe the ambivalence many of these refugees express, when talking about moving on to Europe. The article demonstrates that secondary migration is not only associated with positive outcomes and suggests that there may be self-selection effects in what subgroups of refugees that end up seeking migration to Europe.