COVID-19 has overwhelmed some of the world’s most robust healthcare systems and imperiled its richest economies. For countries experiencing fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), COVID-19 adds even greater stress, threatening to reverse decades of advancements in poverty reduction and development. In these settings, the fallout from the pandemic may strain the social fabric in ways that deepen fragility and exacerbate protracted crises—with potentially devastating impacts on the health and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

You will be able to participate in the live Q&A using the YouTube chat box function on the YouTube page.


Join USIP and the World Bank Group as we examine international efforts to respond to the first- and second-order impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in fragile states. Panelists will draw lessons from other recent outbreaks to consider what works in tackling pandemics on the ground in FCV settings, as well as how actors can work together to ensure responses to the COVID-19 crisis do not exacerbate existing drivers of fragility. Additionally, the panel will examine how to manage long-term social and economic consequences, including how the COVID-19 response can help lay the foundation for strengthened governance and more effective institutions.

You can join the conversation on Twitter by using #COVIDandConflict and #PeoplePeaceProsperity

Speakers

Axel van Trotsenburg
Managing Director of Operations, World Bank 

Nancy Lindborg 
President & CEO, United States Institute of Peace

Sir Mark Lowcock
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations

H.E. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.
Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Republic of Liberia

Ms. Lamis Al-Iryani
Head, Monitoring and Evaluation, Yemen Social Fund for Development

Raj Kumar, moderator
President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

Latest Publications

Afghan Peace Talks: Prisoner Release Paves Way for Direct Negotiations

Afghan Peace Talks: Prisoner Release Paves Way for Direct Negotiations

Thursday, August 13, 2020

By: Dipali Mukhopadhyay; Johnny Walsh; Scott Smith

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday said that his government would release the last batch of Taliban prisoners, ostensibly removing the final hurdle to direct negotiations with the insurgent group. Intra-Afghan negotiations were originally slated for March 10 as part of the U.S.-Taliban deal signed in late February, but were delayed due to disagreements over prisoner releases. The Afghan government and Taliban had committed to releasing 5,000 and 1,000 prisoners respectively, but the final 400 Taliban prisoners had been accused or convicted of major crimes, including murder. Ghani only made the decision to release those prisoners after he called for a consultative assembly, or loya jirga, to advise on the decision. USIP’s Afghanistan experts explain why Ghani convened the loya jirga, what to expect in the early stages of talks, and what role the United States can play.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

ISIS Determined to Make a Comeback—How Can it Be Stopped?

ISIS Determined to Make a Comeback—How Can it Be Stopped?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

By: Ashish Kumar Sen

The Islamic State (ISIS), which was driven from its strongholds in Syria and Iraq over a year ago, is determined to regain territory in the region. It will take a combination of military and financial pressure, attention to public grievances, and the repatriation and rehabilitation of people who lived or fought with ISIS—as well as those who were subjugated by them—to foil the militant group’s ambitions, according to senior U.S. officials. This already tall ask has been made even more challenging by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By: Leo Siebert

Since uprisings swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Tunisia has long been regarded as the lone democratic success story. But nearly 10 years later, volatile party politics and authoritarian legacies continue to plague the transition. The October 2019 election cycle, marked by low voter turnout, demonstrated Tunisians deep disenchantment with the political class for its failure to address the grievances that sparked the ouster of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. After the elections, a government was not formed until February 2020. But months later, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned over allegations of conflicts of interest. In recent weeks, the political landscape has shifted rapidly. USIP’s Leo Siebert examines the political wrangling and Tunisia’s post-election political struggles.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

COVID Will Lead to More Child Marriage—What Can Be Done?

COVID Will Lead to More Child Marriage—What Can Be Done?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By: Joud Monla-Hassan; Mona Yacoubian

The impact of the COVID pandemic continues to be felt around the world, with economies shuttered and political systems increasingly strained. Another of the downwind effects of the pandemic—one that has not been leading the headlines—is that it is expected to lead to a sharp increase in early child marriage. In many countries, when crisis hits, early child marriage increases exponentially. Nearly 10 years into its civil war, in Syria and host countries with Syrian refugees, the rate of early child marriage is now four times what it was before the conflict began. As governments and NGOs continue to respond to COVID and its economic impacts, it is critical that they implement measures to mitigate the drivers of early child marriage. This is all the more vital for countries in or emerging from conflict because a lost generation of girls will ultimately lead to stunted regrowth post-conflict due to this disenfranchised portion of the population’s lack of involvement in reconstruction efforts.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Gender

View All Publications