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Accepted Paper:

COVID-19 and urban migrants in the Horn of Africa: Lived citizenship and everyday humanitarianism  
Tanja Müller (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

This contribution focuses on everyday humanitarianism by migrant communities in three cities in the Horn of Africa: Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Khartoum. It is framed around the concept of lived citizenship, defined as a means to secure well-being through everyday acts and practices.

Paper long abstract:

This contribution focuses on everyday humanitarianism by migrant communities in three cities in the Horn of Africa: Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Khartoum. It is framed around the concept of lived citizenship, defined as a means to secure well-being through everyday acts and practices.

Based on an analysis of comparative interview data among Eritrean and Ethiopian migrant communities in each city, I advance the following arguments: COVID-19 has impacted lived citizenship practices to different degrees, linked to previous forms of precarity and the means and networks of coping with those. Disruptions of transnational support networks resulted in a turn towards local networks and everyday practices of solidarity. These forms of everyday humanitarianism range from spontaneous to more organised forms, but what unites them is a perceived lack of involvement by international humanitarian actors (such as UNHCR) and the local state. In addition, concrete forms of everyday humanitarianism often relate back to memories and experiences of times of hardship in migrants’ homelands. The paper thus raises important questions in relation to transnational humanitarian action in a global crisis.

Panel P105
Conviviality in times of complex crises: translocal and transnational humanitarianism and its transformations
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -