The Politics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Syria
Juline Beaujouan, Eyas Ghreiz and Abdulah El hafi for CSPPS
“Local Voices at a Crossroads” is an article series in which local actors of everyday peace share their insights into the fragilities and resilience of their societies in the face of conflict.
Grassroots societies lie at the crossroads between local realities and national peacebuilding policies and practices. The series therefore aims to accelerate action at the local level by strengthening the voices of civil society at the policy level. “Local Voices at a Crossroads” is hosted by the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) and emerged from a collaboration with the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP*), based at the University of Edinburgh.
In our previous story “Towards a greater role of the civil society in conflict settlements in Syria after Covid-19”, we reflected on the major challenges to the nature and missions of civil society operating in Syrian opposition-held areas during the COVID-19 crisis. In Idlib and Aleppo governorates, the local civil society has become the de-facto substitute to the governmental authority. It has also used the pandemic as a leverage to institutionalise and coordinate its response to the virus and to protect the most vulnerable civilian populations. In this blog, we look back over the events that brought the local civil society in northwest Syria to the forefront of crisis mitigation during the pandemic.