The humanitarian crisis in northern Syria is on the verge of becoming a COVID-19 catastrophe. A decade of conflict has left the healthcare system in ruins—and millions of displaced people in Idlib province were already suffering due to a lack of shelter and sanitation. This policy briefing delves into roots of the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, details the current capacity of the exhausted healthcare system amid the ongoing conflict, and examines what these constraints mean for mounting a response to the spread of the coronavirus.
Whether COVID-19 has affected you personally, or whether you are just trying to survive through social distancing, the COVID-19 pandemic is universally fraying our nerves—from individual health and even death, to massive economic uncertainty, to the anxiety generated in daily interactions within anyone or anything that comes from outside the boundaries of our own homes.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conducted their first virtual Spring Meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing summarizes the discussions, which focused on the economic impact of the pandemic, and provides key takeaways on topics including debt relief, financing for COVID-19 response, multilateral partnerships, and efforts to support global supply chains.
Oil prices are plunging as governments and markets navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With 80% of the global population under some form of lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, demand for fuel has plummeted. As a result, governments have a rare opportunity to tackle a notoriously difficult and politically treacherous topic: phasing out regressive and climate-destructive energy subsidies. These reforms are always challenging to implement: developed and developing countries alike keep trying to do it, only to cave when confronted with protests.
This policy briefing examines how governments, multilateral organizations, and international financial institutions can leverage existing and new community-based responses to deal more effectively with the health, social, and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.