Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, First Call Partners has provided support to a range of actors to assist in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on stability. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on most countries in the world, but the risks are acute in fragile states where it can exacerbate existing economic, political, social and security challenges. In response to this, First Call has conducted a range of research studies to assist partners in providing practical responses to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
For example, in Iraq, First Call Partners was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on social cohesion. The report highlights the effect of COVID-19 on economic inequality, social grievances, political tension and relations between citizens and the security forces. It makes recommendations as to how the international community can work with the Government of Iraq to help strengthen social cohesion and support Iraq’s recovery from COVID-19 in the short, medium, and long-term. A full version of the report can be found here.
In West Africa, First Call was commissioned by the UK Government to conduct a rapid review of lessons from recent epidemics in West Africa and South East Asia to inform the response to COVID-19. The paper identified lessons related to support to host governments, the response of security forces, community engagement and strategic communications. It underscored how COVID-19 is different from other recent pandemics and epidemics, assessing its death rate, transmissibility and impact upon West African communities. The report made a range of recommendations to help reduce the secondary effects of COVID-19 in West Africa.