Since its initial outbreak in China in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around much of the world. The pandemic has hit those living in conflict-affected countries particularly hard. This report presents eight stories from people ICRC delegates met in 2020 in the course of our humanitarian work in Iraq, the Philippines, Nigeria, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Greece and Azerbaijan, and lays out some of what we learned from listening to them. Each of these stories is at once both intensely personal and universal – eight individual experiences that embody what the combination of COVID-19 and armed conflict has meant for countless other people living amid or fleeing from violence. From what these people recount about how the pandemic has affected them over the course of last year, the report then pivots to the more general issues that their stories illustrate. Through the eyes of those on the sharp end of the pandemic, this report highlights some of the challenges that this crisis presents for humanitarian work in the broad view and for those who, with courage and resilience, strive to secure a life in safety and dignity for themselves and their families in the face of violence.
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