Over the past two years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has worked to contain its tenth and largest Ebola epidemic. This Congo Research Group group report, the first of three focusing on the epidemic, examines the public health aspects of the response—particularly the creation of a parallel health system funded by international donors. Despite clinical advances, these parallel structures significantly compromised the efficacy of the response, potentially prolonging the epidemic and contributing to violence.
The UN secretary-general’s third report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace launches this week. CIC’s briefing examines the new report, finding that it moves the prevention agenda forward in several respects, and identifies key opportunities for prevention to take root in the UN’s practice, especially as the UN and its partners work to respond to the crises unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the war-torn province of Idlib braces itself for the deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been some startling good news: June saw the lowest monthly civilian death toll since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. The lull in fighting presents an opportunity to begin addressing the humanitarian situation in Idlib before COVID-19 cases rise. On the CIC blog, the authors of our May 2020 briefing provide an update on the situation and explain how to prevent further humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria.
The challenge of sustaining peace has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has caused multi-dimensional disruption, putting gains on the ground in peace, security, development, and human rights at risk. However, the pandemic has also created opportunities for more integrated approaches to peacebuilding and sustaining peace. On August 12, CIC's director Sarah Cliffe joined the current and former United Nations secretary-generals to brief the Security Council on the conflict risks posed by COVID-19 and options for the multilateral response.
A new book by Barnett Rubin, senior fellow and director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Project at CIC, was recently published by Oxford University Press. Afghanistan: What Everyone Needs to Know is a concise introduction to the issues facing Afghanistan today.