Virtual Event

From crisis to opportunity for sustainable peace

A joint perspective on responding to the health, employment, and peacebuilding challenges in times of COVID-19.

Event summary

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Besides being the greatest health emergency of our time, COVID-19 is a multidimensional crisis that threatens broader peace and stability. The crisis may exacerbate structural fault lines and grievances, increase mistrust, discrimination and perception of injustice over access to health services, decent jobs and livelihoods. Epidemics and economic crises can have a disproportionate impact on certain segments of the population, especially the most vulnerable, which can worsen inequality and marginalization. Measures have to be targeted and tailored to the differing realities of countries and economies. It will also be essential to engage national, local actors and communities from the outset when designing and implementing measures in response to COVID-19 in conflict and fragile situations.

The ILO, the WHO, Interpeace and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs joined forces in 2020 to examine key policy and programmatic considerations for health and employment interventions responding to COVID-19 in conflict-affected countries.

The joint paper outlines practical guidance on how interventions across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus can be adapted to be more effective and integrated, and to ensure they do no harm and strengthen prospects for peace. The question of how conflict-sensitive and peace-responsive approaches are integrated into health and broader socioeconomic responses will determine their effectiveness and sustainability, as well as their impact on peace and conflict dynamics. It outlines a range of important peacebuilding considerations and highlights significant contributions the WHO and the ILO are making to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

This publication targets UN country teams, national governments, international agencies and civil society engaged in the COVID-19 response specifically in the areas of health, decent work and employment, and peacebuilding in conflict-affected settings.

Objectives of the webinar

Based on the paper key recommendations, the panellists will introduce potential pathways to promote employment, health and peacebuilding in conflict-affected countries, particularly in Africa, in times of COVID-19.


This webinar will bring together UN Resident Coordinators, UNCTs, PBSO, ILO and WHO staff, member states, tripartite constituents, CSOs and policy-makers working in fragile contexts and across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.


  • Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Assistant Director-General and Africa Regional Director, ILO
  • Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General, Emergency Response, WHO
  • Mr Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief of Peacebuilding Strategy and Partnerships Branch, UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO/DPPA)
  • Mr Simon Gimson, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Interpeace
Moderator: Mr Federico Negro, Head of the Coordination Unit for Peace and Resilience, ILO