BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Covid-19 and Politics



It is no news that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world significantly, and in ways that have not been witnessed in decades. The global shutdown, aimed to curtail the spread of the deadly corona virus, resulted in a negative influence on international relations and political systems. This has been evident in several countries across the globe including the United States, Canada and Nigeria. The  consequences of the political instability resulting from COVID-19 include deferments of legislative activities, isolation or deaths of various politicians and postponement of elections due to fears of spreading the virus. Due to social distancing, political events and activities which are largely social affairs have been modified by removing public campaigns, introducing virtual fundraising and encouraging voters to vote by mail in countries like the United States. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) also postponed the hearing of Guyana and Venezuela border dispute over Guayana Esequiba which was earlier scheduled for March 2020. Unfortunately, some countries have taken advantage of this pandemic to build political bridges thereby putting politics before health. More so, international organizations such as World Health Organization, through its leader Tedros Adhanom, claimed to have received severe discrimination, racist insults and death threats from some countries, especially Taiwan. 

Although the pandemic may have worsened conflict dynamics, it also led to a global demand for ceasefire as United Nations called for greater international cooperation to address the pandemic. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, issued an appeal for a global ceasefire as part of the United Nations’ response to the COVID-19  pandemic on March 23, 2020. This was supported by 172 UN Member States and Observers who signed a non-binding statement. Further, the UN Security Council supported the Secretary General by passing a resolution demanding an immediate termination of all conflicts and engagement in a “humanitarian pause” of at least 90 uninterrupted days. 

Several countries, particularly the US has faced many controversies and accusations at different times during this pandemic. Of major importance were allegations of unethical political actions such as hijacking shipments of crucial supplies meant for other countries, disrupting face mask deliveries to France and Germany, diverting medical supplies originally intended for Canada, threatening to cut funding and withdraw from World Health Organization and halting the exportation of masks to Latin America.

In Canada, Parliament voted to suspend activities in both the House of Commons and Senate. To continue maintaining social distancing, the House of Commons’ Health and Finance committees were given the flexibility to hold virtual meetings during this pandemic. In the same vein, the leadership elections of various parties including the Conservative Party of Canada, Green Party of British Columbia, Quebec Liberal Party and Parti Québécois were all postponed.

At the early stages of the pandemic, Nigeria received millions of dollars in funding from international organizations and independent donors to combat COVID- 19 but unfortunately, corruption has limited the efficient use of these funds. Although the government made claims of how the monies were spent via palliatives, testing and treatment;, citizens deny receiving any palliatives or aids form the Nigerian government. In addition, many citizens accuse the government of lack of transparency regarding COVID-19 and consequently doubt the credibility of any claims. Most recently this September , Edo State gubernatorial election was conducted and the incumbent Governor, Godwin  Obaseki,, won.

Being the origin, it is impossible to discuss COVID-19 without mentioning China. The Chinese government dismissed several provincial-level administrators of the Communist Party of China (CPC) over the poor handling of quarantine efforts in the country. Some political experts claim this was likely in a cover-up to protect the general secretary of the CPC, Xi Jinping from people’s anger over the issues surrounding the spread of COVID-19..

According to Angel Gurría, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General, COVID-19 which has a strong regional and global impact is the greatest economic, financial and social shock of the 21st century and requires a modern, global effort that would entail differentiated governance and policy responses from local and international levels. The coordinated and unified response from all levels of government remains a major means to optimize crisis-management. In addition, charity organizations such as BlessWorld Foundation continue to ease the consequences of the pandemic by:

  • Health Education and promotion
  • Staff retention and employment provision
  • Palliative distribution and poverty alleviation
  • Capacity building
  • Community development

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