[open access] Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises

International Journal for Equity in Health volume 19, Article number: 41 (2020) Cite this article

Over 168 million people across 50 countries are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2020 [1]. Response to epidemics in complex humanitarian crises—such as the recent cholera epidemic in Yemen and the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo—is a global health challenge of increasing scale [2]. The thousands of Yemeni and Congolese who have died in these years-long epidemics demonstrate the difficulty of combatting even well-known pathogens in humanitarian settings. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may represent a still greater threat to those in complex humanitarian crises, which lack the infrastructure, support, and health systems to mount a comprehensive response. Poor governance, public distrust, and political violence may further undermine interventions in these settings.

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