covid virus

The pandemic’s impact on Middle East and North Africa

COVID-19 Challenges the MENA Region

April 2021, Number 11.02

“Before the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were at a crossroads. Ten years after the Arab Spring, and as a result of unsuccessful reforms, MENA societies had returned to a state of growing dissatisfaction with the decade’s changes. Following protests in Iraq and Lebanon, social turmoil spilled out in Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Iran, while the situations in Libya and Sudan became significantly more complex.

The region’s circumstances changed considerably with the emergence of COVID-19. It not only revolutionized the sociopolitical and economic situation, but also seriously challenged governments and their crisis management abilities. Although each government chose its own management style and policies, most COVID-19 measures were quickly weaponized in fights with political opponents. Moreover, the spread of the virus also provided a wide range of tools to introduce restraints and public control…”

Excerpt from Mariusz Rzeszutko, “COVID-19 Challenges the MENA Region,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 11, No. 2, 2021: 22-29.

Mariusz Rzeszutko has a Ph.D. in security sciences and is a theoretician and practitioner with a mission background. He has worked in ministries, international organizations and private sector companies and is particularly interested in protracted conflicts, national and ethnic minorities, and countries’ stability.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.