As the coronavirus pandemic causes global disruption, USIP knows what it means to adapt our expertise and resources to match the ever-shifting nature of peacebuilding. Throughout our 35 years, we've helped lead the way on matters of peace and conflict and are committed to making peace possible amid the new reality of COVID-19.

Read stories of resilience from USIP's global network of peacebuilders

Past Events

Health workers entering the Dharavi slum to conduct contact tracing and quarantining people who came into contact with a coronavirus patient in Mumbai, April 28, 2020. (Atul Loke/The New York Times)

COVID in South Asia: Regional Responses

Recorded June 17, 2020

USIP and experts from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka discuss states' responses to the coronavirus pandemic across the region and what countries can do to maintain and restore their economies, health systems, and citizens’ trust in elected officials.

People visit a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa. (Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times)

Harnessing Coronavirus for a Peaceful and Prosperous Africa

Recorded May 27, 2020

Representatives of the African Union Commission and the African Diplomatic Corps, and other experts discuss the African Union’s efforts to mobilize the fight against coronavirus while still alleviating threats to human security and international peace. 

A flash mob organized by Mutual-Aid Space, a group organized to help the needy, outside a building the group has occupied in Milan, Saturday, April 25, 2020. (Alessandro Grassani/The New York Times)

People Power in a Pandemic: How Movements are Confronting COVID

Recorded May 19, 2020

Activists and peacebuilders from South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela discuss how nonviolent movements are confronting and adjusting to their new operating environments, how they are spreading awareness about the virus and safety measures in their communities, and how they envision the post-coronavirus era in their societies.  

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge that connects North Korea to China, in Dandong, China. (Lam Yik Fei/The New York Times)

The Impact of Coronavirus on North Korea

Recorded April 14, 2020

View the webcast from USIP's online discussion with experts on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation in North Korea, the impact of COVID-19 on North Korea’s isolation vis-à-vis the international sanctions regime, the potential for instability in North Korean society, and the potential for sanctions relief to aid coronavirus response efforts.

Latest Publications

After Beirut Blast, What’s Next for Lebanon’s Broken Political System?

After Beirut Blast, What’s Next for Lebanon’s Broken Political System?

Friday, August 7, 2020

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Mona Yacoubian

A massive explosion ripped through the Port of Beirut on Tuesday, sending shockwaves through the Lebanese capital, killing over one hundred and injuring thousands. This comes with Lebanon already on the brink of economic collapse, struggling to address a COVID outbreak, and as the trust gap between citizens and the state is wider than ever. Although in the immediate aftermath of the explosion some suggested Lebanon had been attacked, the cause of the explosion is likely much more banal: government negligence resulted in thousands of pounds of explosive chemical material to be improperly stored in the port for years. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun and Mona Yacoubian examine what this demonstrates about the already beleaguered Lebanese government, the long-term implications for the country, and how the international community has responded so far.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Disengagement and Reconciliation in Conflict-Affected Settings

Disengagement and Reconciliation in Conflict-Affected Settings

Friday, August 7, 2020

By: Leanne Erdberg Steadman

Even in brutal and desperate conflict settings, it is possible for people to abandon violence and leave violent groups. Peacebuilders know this well—yet terrorism and counterterrorism policies and practices have often neglected practical ways to address participants in violent extremism and failed to provide them opportunities to reject violence. This report examines how peacebuilding tools can help transform the individual attitudes, group relationships, and social ecosystems and structures needed to facilitate the effective disengagement and reconciliation of former members of violent extremist groups.

Type: Special Report

Violent Extremism

The Dangers of Myanmar’s Ungoverned Casino Cities

The Dangers of Myanmar’s Ungoverned Casino Cities

Thursday, August 6, 2020

By: Jason Tower; Priscilla A. Clapp

As a struggling, incomplete democracy, Myanmar and its elected leaders face challenges that would confound any country. The best-known involve the military’s uneven loosening of a 50-year dictatorship; ethnic tensions and armed conflicts; the lack of a common national identity; entrenched poverty; and the complications of borders with five nations, including China. Less well known is an emerging threat that touches each of these vital concerns. Over the past three years, transnational networks with links to organized crime have partnered with local armed groups, carving out autonomous enclaves and building so-called “smart cities” to tap into the huge, but illegal, Chinese online gambling market. Myanmar’s leaders at every level and in every sector should pay serious attention to the alarming national implications of these developments.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

Coronavirus Throws Another Challenge at Syria’s Doctors

Coronavirus Throws Another Challenge at Syria’s Doctors

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

By: Anthony Navone

As COVID starts to surge in Syria, the pandemic poses extraordinary challenges in one of the world’s most complex conflict zones. Nearly a decade of war has left Syria’s health care system in shambles. With supplies and trained personnel scarce, medical providers have struggled to meet the needs of millions of displaced Syrians. Meanwhile, medical workers have not been spared from the violence—despite international condemnation, health care facilities have been targeted by military strikes over 500 times since 2011.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health

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