Conflict sensitivity in responses to COVID-19: Initial guidance and reflections


Created 10/09/2020

Analysis, Evaluation Reports


The international humanitarian and development aid sector is pivoting towards the prevention, mitigation and response to COVID-19. Aid agencies are facing particular challenges and risks in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Without careful consideration of how COVID-19 – and national and international responses to it – interact with conflict dynamics, there is a risk that aid could unintentionally exacerbate conflict, while missing opportunities to contribute to positive peace.

This paper provides initial analysis and guidance to inform the design, implementation and adaptation of conflict-sensitive humanitarian and development responses to COVID-19. It presents considerations for how to build a conflict-sensitive approach into COVID-19 responses.

How COVID-19 related aid programming interacts with conflict dynamics will differ from country to country, and from community to community. Different sectoral interventions will also face particular risks and challenges. The analysis and guidance presented here is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather should act as a prompt to help staff think about challenges and opportunities, and how best to navigate them. We hope this guidance will act as a useful starting point for further investigation and consideration.

Conflict sensitivity in responses to COVID-19

Part 1: Overarching considerations

This section discusses emerging, cross-cutting challenges and opportunities presented by the international aid response to COVID-19 from a conflict-sensitivity perspective. Some initial guidance and considerations are included about how programming can account for these issues.

Part 2: Sector-specific considerations

This section identifies various conflict-sensitivity considerations related to humanitarian and development sectors and thematic priorities. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but to present a snapshot of issues that programmes may face with initial reflections on how aid actors could potentially manage them.

Read the full paper here


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