Policy Brief: Covid-19 & Conflict Sensitivity
World Vision & Search for Common Ground
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption globally. Countries around the world are struggling to contain the pandemic and deal with a high number of hospitalisations and deaths. As the virus spreads to more fragile and conflict affected contexts, the outcome may be devastating. Ongoing violent conflict and weak health infrastructure is already prohibiting the delivery and administration of testing and treatment resources. Health workers may not be able to reach certain communities because of insecurity and may become victims themselves. Where the risk posed by COVID-19 intersects with other vulnerabilities, including those associated with poverty, displacement, gender, and age, its impact will be more severe. Notably, in crowded refugee/internally displaced persons camps, insufficient provision of basic services like clean water and healthcare will accelerate the spread of the disease.
World Vision International and Search for Common Ground are international non-governmental organisations (INGO) contributing to the COVID-19 response in areas affected by some of the world’s most protracted conflicts. We have serious concerns about the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19 and ongoing response measures on the well-being of people, in particular of children and young people, living in conflict-affected and fragile contexts. In this brief, we aim to highlight the need for a conflict-sensitive response and provide recommendations for strengthening European donors’ global COVID-19 response.