Marwa Ba’abad, Stefan Cramer and Aaron Bermange

28 December 2020

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This is the first briefing in a series released by the Oxford Research Group’s (ORG) Strategic Peacebuilding Programme. These briefings examine the lessons that can be drawn from the response to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and how they can be applied in the response to COVID-19 in Yemen.

Yemen has long been a focus area for the Strategic Peacebuilding Programme (SPP), which carries out peacebuilding processes in the country. It is vital to our work to understand the impact of Coronavirus in the country to date, and its likely future impact, so that we can adapt our programme accordingly. The Ebola outbreak in the DRC was chosen as a case study because there are clear lessons to be drawn from the response to this outbreak. At the same time, while the countries are different in many ways, there are also strong parallels between the conflicts which ravage both countries. This complicates responses to disease outbreaks immensely.

This background briefing has three main purposes:

  1. To provide a background to our research project and to provide an overview of the four briefings.
  2. To provide a brief background to the history and conflicts of both DRC and Yemen, as well as
    the disease outbreaks.
  3. To outline conditions in the DRC and Yemen which will have particular impact on the response
    to disease outbreaks. In the case of the DRC, the general and health infrastructure shall be
    analysed, whilst for Yemen the focus will be on the macro-economic activities and developments.

Image credit: Credit Will De Freitas, Wadi Hadramaut.

About the authors

Marwa Ba’abad, Head of International Projects

Stefan Cramer, Projects Officer

Aaron Bermange, Projects Assistant