Plight of the Protests: Iraq and Lebanon’s Trials and Tribulations in the Face of COVID-19


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October 2019 marked the beginning of civil protests in Iraq and Lebanon, calling for political reform, an overhaul of political elites and improvements to state services for civilians. While the roots of the protests are different in each country, they are indicative of a level of incapability on behalf of the state to meet the demands and expectations of civilians, and have resulted in increasingly violent retaliation against the protesters over the course of time.         



>  The new Kadhimi government faces many challenges in the upcoming months such as tackling the ongoing protests, corruption, economic turmoil, and a failing health system, which are only worsened by the stresses of the pandemic.


>  The failing health system in Iraq and the inability of the government to enforce lockdown measures has forced civilians to self-regulate by educating one another on how to slow the spread of coronavirus.


>  External actors such the European Union, play a key role in supporting Iraq’s new Prime Minister in meeting the demands of the protesters and improving the public wellbeing in the face of COVID-19.


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