The current corona (COVID-19) epidemic adds yet another threat multiplying factor to the explosive mix of conflict- and instability-drivers many individual countries and the world as a whole are facing. Direct effects on health – often in relation with deficient WASH services – are coupled with lost economic opportunities, potentially leading to increasing instability, internal displacements, government delegitimization, an increase in illicit activities or the (re-)emergence of extremist ideologies.
IHE Delft's Susanne Schmeier, together with the global Water Peace and Security Partnership, has been highlighting the straightforward link between the corona virus outbreak – and its mitigation – and water: With handwashing – and other basic hygiene measures – being one of the most important factor in preventing the spread of the disease.
She notes that "Countering these direct and indirect negative effects will be challenged by a reduced availability of human, technical and financial capacity in all affected countries, including the ODA-providing countries of Europe. WPS can help to respond to these risks. WPS, with its focus on conflict early warning, prevention and mitigation and its expertise on the linkages between water, food and energy risks and their implications on conflict and security, can contribute a number of tools and approaches to assess the consequences of the corona crisis on conflict and security and to help design adequate and effective response mechanisms."
You can read the full WPS partnership article here.
And read more about the WPS partnership here.