COVID-19, conflict, and the wildlife trade

Research on disasters and pandemics in conflict zones has long demonstrated that conflicts make societies more vulnerable to disasters through four main mechanisms: destruction of infrastructure, diversion of funding, restriction of movement, and damage to the social fabric. In conflict situations, disaster response can also be used for political and military gains. While disasters may sometimes reinforce peace negotiations or lead to ceasefires—as shown by certain groups in Colombia, the Philippines, and Cameroon that have committed to ceasefires in light of COVID-19—many combat operations continue elsewhere.

Another less obvious link between conflict and disease pandemics is poaching and the illegal trade of endangered species...

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