Regional Responses to COVID-19: The Role of Intergovernmental Organisations in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East

Citation: den Boer, H. & Nash, K. (2021). Regional Responses to COVID-19: The Role of Intergovernmental Organisations in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East (PSRP Research Report: Covid-19 Series). Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.

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About: This report addresses several interlinking questions on the response by IGOs in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. First, how has COVID-19 impacted these regions, and what are the particular challenges Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East face when addressing the pandemic? Second, how are particular IGOs within these regions responding, and do regional responses encompass wider concerns beyond the immediate health and economic impacts of the pandemic? Finally, with a specific view to peace and security, how are regional organisations adapting their responses to conflict in the wake of COVID-19 or using existing peace and security mechanisms to respond to the pandemic? The report relies on primary source data collected electronically from each regional organisation to map their responses to COVID-19, and it focuses on the initial phases of the pandemic throughout 2020.

The question of the impact of regional IGO responses is an open question that this report will not be able to fully address both because we are still in the midst of a rapidly changing pandemic and because there is limited data on the impact of interventions at this stage. However, this research does provide a starting point by comprehensively mapping responses by regional intergovernmental organisations based on primary source documents from these organisations and comparing how different regional bodies responded to the pandemic. It sets out questions for further research, and it concludes by discussing the potential impact of the regional responses both for outcomes related to the COVID-19 crisis and the handling of future health crises.

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