While the COVID-19 pandemic presents a potentially era-defining challenge to public health and the global economy, its long- and short-term consequences for deadly conflict are less well understood. Much remains uncertain, but it is already clear that the pandemic could cause enormous damage in fragile states, trigger unrest and undermine international crisis management systems. The disease is already disrupting humanitarian aid flows, peace operations and crisis diplomacy, and it could be catastrophic for civilians caught in the midst of conflict, particularly refugees and displaced people. Over the coming weeks and months, Crisis Group will offer special publications on the coronavirus and its effects on the conflict landscape.
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A 26 February UN Security Council resolution could help facilitate COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in conflict areas. The Council should plan how to best implement these vaccination drives and, once vaccine supplies are sufficient, provide political and material support to those on the ground.
Originally published in Foreign Affairs
There's a very high level of concern that [COVID-19]'s economic impact is going to spark more disorder, more conflict.
Covid-19 has laid bare the costs of confronting a global crisis with a flawed international system. The only worse outcome would be to confront the next crisis with no system at all.