Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Conflict-Affected Countries

On 29 April 2020, the UNSC Informal Expert Group (IEG) on Women, Peace and Security held a meeting on gender and COVID-19. Prior to the discussion, WILPF partner, Oula Ramadan spoke with member state and UN representatives in a CSO consultation on the situation in Syria. She highlighted the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to medically at-risk health groups as well as women, displaced persons, human rights defenders and detainees. 

She called on member states to:

  • Maintain and increase access to humanitarian aid, as well as employ an inclusive and conflict-sensitive approach. 

  • Encourage the WHO to implement a more inclusive approach, or implement a parallel approach to distribute these medical essentials to North-East and North-West Syria.

  • Pressure the Syrian regime to immediately release all detainees, suspend arrests to reduce the possibility of transmission, and open detention centers to international authorities. 

  • Continue funding rights-based, human rights and feminist organizations, and give priority to funding rights-based organizations which work on mobilizing women to become decision-makers in their field. If women are not part of the decision-making process in Syria, there cannot be a sustainable and inclusive peace for Syrians.