Emergency Response

As the crisis unfolds, a clear challenge for policymakers and civil society is to identify where the most vulnerable populations live and who should be prioritized. 

The poverty data accessed through the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) can help provide policy actors with critical insights into which populations might be more vulnerable when exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. MPI data can help inform policymaking so that interventions are more effective, high impact, and durable.

In the maps below, we show the number and proportion of people that are at high risk to COVID-19 across 467 subnational regions and 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. High risk is defined here as the experience of overlapping deprivations in three poverty indicators from the 2019 global MPI, namely: nutrition, drinking water and cooking fuel. The maps visualize clusters of high risk that span national boundaries.

OPHI Briefing 53 ‘Multidimensional poverty and COVID-19 risk factors: A rapid overview of interlinked deprivations across 5.7 Billion Peopleā€™.

This briefing shows at a glance some critical facts for the COVID-19 response. It uses the global MPI database for 2019, which covers 101 countries and 5.7 billion people in the developing world.

Globally 472 million people are simultaneously deprived in nutrition, drinking water and cooking fuel ā€“ three poverty indicators which are related to risk factors for COVID-19 because of their relationship to immunodeficiency and respiratory and other illnesses.

Read and download the briefing here.


OPHI Briefing 54 ‘Multidimensional Poverty and Vulnerability to COVID-19: A Rapid Overview of Disaggregated and Interlinked Vulnerabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa’.

This briefing provides a rapid assessment of vulnerabilities to COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa according to three indicators from the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). It analyses deprivations in nutrition, drinking water and cooking fuel across 467 subnational regions and 40 countries.

Read and download the briefing here.