Toxic mix of violence and virus sweeps poorest countries, war journalist warns | News from the world

This summer will usher in some of the worst disasters the world has ever known if the pandemic is allowed to spread rapidly across countries already plagued by increasing violence, increasing poverty and the specter of famine, according to BBC reporter. . Lyse Doucet has warned.

Addressing exclusively to Observershe says she fears “a terrifying mix of violence and viruses” will soon overwhelm countries like Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia, where Covid-19 has not yet reached its peak. Already there southern yemen, the gravediggers cannot follow the dead and the dying, she said. “The conflicts will also be amplified and multiplied by impoverishment, starvation and despair … Expect a hot summer.”

She will participate in Reinventing victory, a series of online events for the Imperial War Museum Institute and the charity Peacebuilding Conciliation Resources to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War this summer.

Doucet, who was awarded an OBE for journalism broadcasting services in 2014 and has been reporting on the war for the BBC for over 30 years, can clearly see the trajectory of the pandemic for the most desperate and the most vulnerable. “We live in Britain. We hear about unprecedented and unthinkable spending levels and safety nets that better-off, resource-rich countries are throwing to catch everyone before they fall. But in places of conflict, they do not have these safety nets. People there are already living on the edge, ”she says.

The economic damage the coronavirus has caused to the world – for example, by destroying the income of migrant workers who regularly send money home – will only exacerbate hunger and deprivation in war-torn countries, and will harbor feelings of injustice and hopelessness there, Doucet said. “Covid-19 is not just a matter of life, it is a matter of livelihood. When you destroy people’s fragile livelihoods, you also destroy lives. “

With so many people living in these countries on a daily basis, the additional economic cost of “staying at home” will be as fatal as the virus itself, even when it is circulating rapidly. “The developing world will face nightmare scenarios. There are not enough resources to test or treat – and because of corruption, the wealthy will get the resources that exist. “

Some will be tempted to join fighters and rebels who promise to pay them so that they can feed their families and keep them safe. “It is holding your breath. The countries that have already gone through the worst moments could face pressures and difficulties unthinkable in our time. In many of these places, she said, “there will be violence and the virus for a while”.

However, she fears that all this seems far removed from the British and other rich countries at the moment, many believing that they are experiencing the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world” at home. “When there are protests that take over the streets of our countries, will there be space – in the headlines, in the shows, in our aid budgets and in our hearts – to help too people who are going to suffer a lot more than us, a lot more from the deep ways?

For journalists like Doucet, who believe that the best way to account for conflict is in the field, face to face, in the heat and dust – rather than on a computer or phone – the health risks have increased . But, despite the pandemic, she says she is looking forward to returning to the places where she normally reports, hopefully by the end of the year. “No story is worth dying, but there are stories that are worth taking risks. We must protect our lives, but we must also protect our journalism. These stories are important. They must be informed. “

June 30, Doucet will chair an online panel, Mission accomplished? Victory in the era of endless wars, on the Imperial War Museum YouTube channel

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.