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This paper draws on the results of telephone surveys conducted to assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the young people of two longitudinal cohorts (aged 19 and 26 years old at the time) of the four countries that participate in the Young Lives research programme: Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. We first review the pandemic experiences of these four countries, which differed significantly, and report on the responses of the individual young people to the pandemic and the measures taken by governments. Our main focus is on how the pandemic and policy responses impacted on the education, work and food security experiences of the young people. Unsurprisingly the results show significant adverse effects in each of these areas, though again with differences by country. The effects are mostly more severe for poorer individuals. We stress the challenges that COVID-19 is creating for meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in making it more difficult to ensure that no one is left behind.

Original publication




Journal article


Emerald Open Research



Publication Date