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COVID-19 Pandemic: The Future of Peacebuilding in Nigeria

Book Cover: COVID-19 Pandemic: The Future of Peacebuilding in Nigeria
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Gl o b a l l y , C O V I D - 1 9 h a s u p e n d e d l i v e s , l i v e l i h o o d , e c o n o m i e s a n d c i v i l i z a t i o n s u s h e r i n g u s i n t o u n c h a r t e d t e r r i t o r y a n d u n c e r t a i n t i m e s i n j u s t o v e r f i v e m o n t h s . T h e p a n d e m i c h a s w i d e n e d i n e q u a l i t i e s , b r o u g h t u p n e w c o n f l i c t s a n d s h a k e n t h e t r u s t o f g l o b a l e c o n o m y a n d g o v e r n a n c e . I n A f r i c a , t h e s i t u a t i o n i s e v e n d i r e r .
F r a g i l e h e a l t h c a r e s y s t e m s , d e p e n d e n t e c o n o m i e s a n d w e a k g o v e r n m e n t i n s t i t u t i o n s h a v e l e d t o w o r s e n i n g c o n s e q u e n c e s f o r t h e c o n t i n e n t .

A l t h o u g h A f r i c a h a s r e c o r d e d c o m p a r a t i v e l y f e w e r o f f i c i a l c a s u a l t i e s t h a n o t h e r r e g i o n s , t h e i m p a c t c o u l d b e d e a d l i e r w i t h o n - g o i n g p o l i t i c a l c r i s e s a n d t h e l i k e l i h o o d o f f u r t h e r d e p r i v a t i o n o f t h e v u l n e r a b l e p o p u l a t i o n .

T h e r e f o r e , t h i s r e p o r t c o u l d n o t h a v e c o m e a t a b e t t e r t i m e t h a n n o w t h a t p e a c e b u i l d e r s a r e f a c e d w i t h r e s o l v i n g p r e - C O V I D - 1 9 c o n f l i c t a n d a l s o t h e n e w o n e s c e r t a i n t o a r i s e f r o m h u m a n r i g h t s a b u s e s , s h r i n k i n g c i v i c s p a c e , c o r r u p t i o n a n d e c o n o m i c h a r d s h i p .

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Globally, COVID-19 has brought disruptions and the creation of a "new normal. The pandemic has widened inequalities, brought up new conflicts and shaken the trust of global economy and governance. In Nigeria, the pandemic has exposed her weak health care system, destroyed means of livelihoods, dragged more people below the poverty line and led to gross human rights abuses. While gains in conflict-ravaged states like Borno, Yobe and Adamawa could be easily lost. Peacebuilders must step in to help but adapt to a socially distant future that is heavily dependent on virtual interactions.

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As part of efforts by civil society organizations (CSO) to explore the nature of peacebuilding in a socially distant era that is heavily dependent on virtual interactions, the Building Blocks for Peace Foundation, West African Network for Peacebuilding-Nigeria, Peace Initiative Network and the CORAFID Centre for Innovation and Research, organized a virtual dialogue among CSOs working on peace and security and other relevant stakeholders including INGO, academics, religious leaders and representatives of government ministries to interrogate and explore the new look of peacebuilding in the context of responding and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

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