The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having a profound impact on peace and conflict around the world.
The presence of conflict is also making it more difficult for emergency responders to tackle the pandemic and reach those most in need.
Peacebuilding must therefore be part of the response to the pandemic, to mitigate and prevent violence, increase the resilience of communities to ongoing shocks, and ensure that healthcare interventions and recovery efforts are sustainable and avoid exacerbating conflict.
Here, we explore the different ways peacebuilders can play a part in the COVID-19 response.
COVID-19: Four ways peacebuilders can respond
At International Alert, as in every other peacebuilding organisation around the world, we are emerging from our initial shock at the speed at which the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has swept the globe, and are starting to look at how we, as peacebuilders, shape our actions. Here are four ways we think we, and other peacebuilders, can respond.
Why COVID-19 is a call to action for gender equality and peace
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a considerable impact on our health, economies and societies, not least when it comes to gender. Gender-based violence (GBV) has long been the greatest threat to the security of women and other vulnerable groups around the world, especially in conflict-affected areas. COVID-19 has only compounded this situation, with huge increases in reported cases of GBV globally, leading to it being labelled the “shadow pandemic”.
COVID-19: Security forces must stop using violence and be part of the solution
COVID-19 restrictions have required security forces across the globe to support lockdown measures and enforce emergency laws. But in Africa, as elsewhere, the security forces have been accused of using excessive force to impose the measures, spreading fear and mistrust. How can they play a more positive role, especially in countries already dealing with conflict?