Power Shifts and the Risk of a "Crisis Within the Crisis": COVID, Oil and the MENA Region

Power Shifts and the Risk of a “Crisis Within the Crisis”: COVID, Oil and the MENA Region

COVID-19 triggered a collapse in oil prices from approximately 60 to 20 dollars per barrel between January and April 2020. Signs of a rebound are visible but prices remain well below the breakeven for many producers. If prices stay this low for long, or if they fall again after a partial rally in a relapse scenario, the world may witness a crisis within the crisis, with even further adverse effects on the world economy.

Building trust, not tracking, should be the cornerstone of Covid-19 debt relief

Building trust, not tracking, should be the cornerstone of Covid-19 debt relief

Debt relief is back. Again. The “once-in-a-generation” debt cancellation of 15 years ago has returned to the agenda as indebted countries struggle to finance their response to Covid-19. Suspending collection of debt repayments is one practical thing – among others – that rich countries can do relatively quickly to free up money for poor countries during this crisis.

One Health and COVID-19: Global leadership, territorial investment and food systems

One Health and COVID-19: Global leadership, territorial investment and food systems

The One Health approach is particularly relevant to tackle threats like COVID-19 because it links the health of humans, animals, plants and their shared environments. The current health emergency highlights the importance of these links, and offers an opportunity to place food systems at the centre of One Health actions.

Now more than ever: European businesses and due diligence in times of Corona

Now more than ever: European businesses and due diligence in times of Corona

Because of COVID-19, many European companies are understandably focusing on their financial figures and the safety and wellbeing of their direct employees. Given the gravity of the crisis, the larger supply chain and the human rights and environmental due diligence therein risks falling off their agenda. But do these difficult times absolve companies from their due diligence responsibilities?

The ‘youth burden’ needs a new narrative and how we respond to Covid-19 in conflict zones can change it

The ‘youth burden’ needs a new narrative and how we respond to Covid-19 in conflict zones can change it

In fragile and conflict-affected settings, Covid-19 is increasing vulnerabilities and tensions caused by unequal access to already strained (and often inexistent) social and medical services. This is particularly true for young people – one in every four of whom live in such areas.

Responsibility for the poorest countries - How the international financial institutions are responding to the pandemic

Responsibility for the poorest countries – How the international financial institutions are responding to the pandemic

World Bank Group President David Malpass expects the corona crisis to result in a deeper global recession than the Great Depression of the 1930s. The pandemic will hit the world’s poorest countries even harder than industrialised nations, especially as the former have barely any fiscal leeway. Their social-security and healthcare systems are not sufficiently robust.

COVID-19 Exposes Italy's Vulnerability to US-China Antagonism

COVID-19 Exposes Italy’s Vulnerability to US-China Antagonism

Both the US and China seem to see the COVID-19 crisis through the lenses of geopolitical competition. A desire to repair its international reputation and gain influence underlies China’s offer of medical equipment and sanitary know-how to countries hit by the contagion – the so-called “mask diplomacy”

African regional responses to COVID-19

African regional responses to COVID-19

This note summarises and reflects on the different roles played by the African Union and a sample of the continent’s regional organisations in shaping collective, coordinated regional responses. It finds that the AU has played an effective role in communicating about and shaping African responses, with technical legitimacy provided through the Africa CDC. The AU has also been able to inspire collective action in a unified call for international solidarity.

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A necessary horizon for the post-crisis recovery, but how to do it?

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A necessary horizon for the post-crisis recovery, but how to do it?

The current health crisis has shown, both in its emergence and in its impacts, multifaceted and interconnected risks and vulnerabilities, both in humanitarian and social, economic and environmental terms. Most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are concerned, individually and above all in their indivisibility, which constitutes the core and added value of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the context of post-crisis reconstruction, more than ever, the implementation of this universal agenda is a necessity, particularly to reduce vulnerabilities to crises by optimising the interactions between the SDGs. This post proposes some avenues.

Testing the relationship: China’s ‘Corona diplomacy’ in Africa

Testing the relationship: China’s ‘Corona diplomacy’ in Africa

As the coronavirus pandemic puts an accent on the geopolitical dynamics among powerful states, China has stepped up its support to Africa’s fight against the virus – arguably not only out of magnanimity. Although China’s assistance is very welcome on the continent at the moment, more is on its way to test China-Africa relations, such as negotiations on debt relief.