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Fragility and Pandemics: Finding the Right Equation to Steer Action

Thursday, April 2, 2020TOPICS: ResearchHuman Rights and Security

Rachel Locke, Director of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice's Impact:Peace Initiative, contributed a timely article to Global Dashboard entitled "Fragility and Pandemics: Finding the right equation to steer action". In the piece, she shares a perspective on the impact that COVID-19 will have on a global scale, partiularly as it relates to countries with the highest levels of fragility. 

She begins the article:

Over 600 years ago, Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted a series of six frescos in the City of Siena, Italy. The “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” aimed to serve as a warning of the dangers of corruption and misrule. Whereas the ‘good government’ images depict people going about their lives in peace, the ‘bad government’ images depict crime, drought and disease. 

Six hundred years later we are confronting coronavirus ­– perhaps the largest pandemic in generations. In our highly interconnected world, the virus spread rapidly and is now present in 180 countries. To date, infections and fatalities have hit mainly middle and high-income countries – perhaps unsurprising, as these are the locations with the greatest number of international travellers. But with each passing day, more cases are appearing in low-income countries and countries contending with exceptionally high violence levels and ongoing conflict.

As the pandemic continues its global expansion, many are trying to predict the scale of its impact. UNDP has, for example, projected that half of all jobs in Africa could be lost as a result of coronavirus, devastating already weak economies and putting families and individuals in dire economic straits.

To continue reading the article, click here


Justin Prugh
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Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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