A Clash of Contagions

The Impact of COVID-19 on Conflict in Nigeria, Colombia, and Afghanistan

A group of protestors marching down a street.
June 27, 2021 • UPDATED June 28, 2021

COVID‑19 and efforts to contain it are exacerbating the underlying drivers of conflict which, left unchecked, have the potential to foment instability and violence in the future.

A Clash of Contagions: The Impact of COVID‑19 on Nigeria, Colombia, and Afghanistan is the culmination of a year-long, rigorous analysis by Mercy Corps based on semi-structured interviews and participatory workshops involving more than 600 individuals. The report identifies three primary pathways through which the pandemic and response measures are shaping conflict dynamics and processes, analyzes the far-reaching implications of the research findings, and offers recommendations to donors, governments, policymakers, and practitioners.

We encourage you to take a look and share via your network using the social media toolkit below.

Download the full report — A Clash of Contagions

Download the policy brief with specific actionable recommendations to the U.S. Government, including the Administration and Congress.

Download Chapter 1 — Introduction: Comparative Findings and Overarching Recommendations

Download Chapter 2 — ‘Living With Two Worrisome Pandemics’: How the COVID‑19 Pandemic is Shaping Conflict in Nigeria

Download Chapter 3 — Quarantined in the Crossfire: How the COVID‑19 Pandemic is Shaping Conflict in Colombia

Download Chapter 4 — An Unsung Crisis: How the COVID‑19 Pandemic is Shaping Conflict in Afghanistan

Download the methodological appendix

Social Media Toolkit

Tweet idea #1

@MercyCorps research shows #COVID19 is worsening conflict drivers in Afghanistan, Colombia, Nigeria. Donors, policymakers, practitioners must prioritize conflict prevention and peacebuilding in pandemic recovery. #CovidAndConflict https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions

Tweet idea #2

@MercyCorps collected and analyzed testimonies of 600+ people Afghanistan, Colombia, Nigeria on how #COVID19 affects instability. Read more on how the pandemic is worsening conflict risks for communities and how to strengthen peace: https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions

Tweet idea #3

Are governments, donors & policymakers doing enough to prevent #COVID19 from worsening conflict risks? Research by @MercyCorps suggests not.

Learn more about immediate impacts, long-term implications & how to act now: https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions

Tweet idea #4

#COVID19 is more than just a #PublicHealth crisis. 

New research by @MercyCorps shows pandemic is fraying state-society relations in #Afghanistan #Colombia #Nigeria. Learn more about #CovidAndConflict: https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions

Tweet idea #5

@MercyCorps research shows conflict sensitivity MUST be better integrated into #COVID19 response. We can achieve that by:

  • Listening to communities
  • Expanding foreign assistance
  • Supporting livelihoods
  • Promoting good governance

Learn more: https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions

Facebook & LinkedIn messages

“A Clash of Contagions,” a new report by @MercyCorps shows the COVID-19 pandemic and response measures are exacerbating underlying drivers of conflict in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Nigeria by:

  • Diminishing trust in government
  • Increasing economic hardship and resource scarcity
  • Eroding social cohesion

An uptick in criminal and gender-based violence, and expanded recruitment by armed opposition groups, could spark new conflicts or worsen existing ones if left unchecked. Read more to learn about what communities are experiencing and how to act now to address warning signs. https://www.mercycorps.org/clash-of-contagions