How does violent conflict affect the spread of Covid-19? In this paper we analyze how violent conflict influences the adoption of preventative measures and infection rate in a very poor, conflict-affected country, Burkina Faso. We use a unique panel of 1,919 households surveyed during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and merge these data with indicators of violence at the municipality and regional level. Infection data are leveraged from 65 test centers across the country. We find a lower adoption rate of preventive measures, and a higher infection rate in areas affected by violence. We control for various socio-economic characteristics and discuss potential mechanisms. We argue that political interventions towards peace and stability also help to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
JEL Classification: D74, D91, I12, I15
Keywords: Burkina Faso, Covid-19, Poverty, Violent conflict