Working Paper
Armed group opportunism in the face of recent crises

COVID-19 and climate change

Terrorist and other types of armed groups often exploit natural and human-made disasters and emergencies to advance their causes.

This paper studies how some armed groups have responded to two recent global emergencies—climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines the messaging and actions of the Boko Haram in Nigeria and Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) dissident groups in Colombia in response to COVID and climatic shifts.

The paper uses assessment methodology to look into unique survey evidence from each country in order to determine the public impact of armed group decision-making and responses to these emergencies. It also considers the potential policy implications of the findings presented herein.