The threat of COVID-19 is even greater in areas affected by conflict or violence – especially for communities living in areas of active conflict or living under the control of Armed Non-State Actors (ANSAs). However, as most of the international support focuses on State-led responses, not only are these extremely vulnerable communities at risk of being left behind, but this may also undermine efforts to bring the crisis under control at local, national, regional and global levels.
Engaging with ANSAs to tackle the spread of COVID-19 is not only a humanitarian imperative to protect those living in areas affected by conflict or violence but is also necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 globally. If these populations are not adequately protected – it increases risks even outside those specific geographic areas, undermining local, national, regional and global attempts to bring the pandemic under control.
Geneva Call’s response operates across the triple nexus to address the immediate health crisis by working amongst and with humanitarian, development and peace actors towards reducing the likely negative long-term economic and development impacts of the pandemic and ultimately, to reduce violence experienced by civilians through the promotion of peace.