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AssessmentsJun 30, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Syrian refugees walk outside a tent at a camp near the Iraqi Kurdish town of Bardarash on Oct. 18, 2019.
COVID-19 Cash Shortages Will Cripple Global Humanitarian Efforts
Reductions in funding for multilateral aid due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 are impacting the fight against the epidemic in conflict zones such as Yemen, raising the prospect of migration flows and renewed fighting, while increasing pressure on private aid organizations to fund humanitarian programs. Funding for multilateral humanitarian aid is dwindling as donor countries increasingly turn inward to solve their own COVID-19 crises at home. Donor countries are providing pandemic relief in various ways, including debt relief, financial swaps and bilateral aid. But global economic contractions, estimated to hover around 7 percent this year, are reducing aid contributions to the United Nations and other institutions, creating severe systemic funding gaps. 
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Quarterly ForecastsJun 29, 2020 | 00:02 GMT
2020 Third-Quarter Forecast
While many of the trends identified in our annual forecast remain slowed down by COVID-19, their pace is picking up as countries carefully emerge from lockdown.
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SnapshotsJun 18, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
Turkey Expands Its Military Operations in Northern Iraq
The escalation of Turkey’s operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq has shown Ankara’s willingness to encroach on Iraqi territory, even if it risks damaging ties with Baghdad. On June 17, Turkey deployed commandos in northern Iraq’s Haftanin region as part of Operation Claw-Tiger, a follow up to the air-intensive Operation Claw-Eagle launched the day before. Turkey's defense ministry described the operations as Turkey’s largest in the area in five years. Although Turkey has been conducting airstrikes in northern Iraqi territory against Kurdish militants and extremists for many years, the deployment of ground forces is an unusual development illustrating escalation in the urgency with which Turkey views these operations, which continue Ankara’s goal of targeting and destroying enclaves of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 
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AssessmentsMay 27, 2020 | 16:31 GMT
A statue depicting the euro is pictured outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank, which serves as the central bank of the 19 EU countries within the eurozone, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Will COVID-19 Be the Eurozone’s Undoing?
COVID-19 will saddle the eurozone with financial and political risks for years to come, testing the economic and institutional resilience of the currency area. High debt and deficit levels will increase the probability of sovereign defaults, especially in Southern Europe, as high unemployment levels create fertile ground for social unrest and the resurgence of destabilizing nationalist and anti-establishment political parties across the Continent. 
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On SecurityMay 19, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of the Islamic State flag overlays a map of Iraq.
Rumblings of an Islamic State Resurgence in Iraq
The Islamic State may have faded from international headlines, but the group remains a potent threat capable of returning with force in its core territory. Since beginning its initial resurgence in Iraq during 2011, the Islamic State has morphed from a local insurgent group to a global movement, with branches that have continued to launch attacks in areas ranging from West Africa to Afghanistan. And without sustained pressure from its adversaries, including the United States and Iraq, the group is well-positioned to continue its resurgence in its core territory -- a development with potentially grave global consequences.
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AssessmentsMay 15, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi makes a speech in Baghdad on May 6, 2020. The following day, Iraq's parliament granted a vote of confidence to al-Kadhimi’s new government and swore in a majority of his 22 ministers.
A Monumental Task Awaits Iraq’s New Government
On May 7, Iraq swore in its first legitimate government since violent protests led to the collapse of its last government in December. After months of political turmoil, the formation of the new government, led by former intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister, is in itself an achievement. But no matter how coherent al-Kadhimi’s administration proves to be, Iraq’s increasingly dire economic situation -- made worse by the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent oil market shocks -- will make it difficult to maintain social and political stability, as well as manage domestic and external security. 
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AssessmentsMay 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Fighters with Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) deploy in the city of Aden on April 26, 2020, after declaring self-rule of the country's south.
A New Layer of Disorder Emerges in Southern Yemen
Separatists in southern Yemen are inching ever closer to their goal of restoring an independent state. On April 29, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared emergency self-rule in the country's provisional capital of Aden, officially taking control from Yemen's U.N.-recognized government of President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi. As it takes further steps toward succession, the STC will have to increasingly compete with other Yemeni factions in the region, along with Hadi's Saudi-backed forces. The resulting uptick in instability will risk undermining regional efforts to stem the influence of both Houthi rebels and jihadist groups in the country. 
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SnapshotsMay 5, 2020 | 15:23 GMT
A German Court Ruling Could Trigger a Financial Crisis in Europe
A German court ruling could jeopardize the continuity of one of the European Union's bond-buying programs and result in higher borrowing costs for Southern European countries at a time when their debt levels are increasing due to the COVID-19 crisis. On May 5, Germany's constitutional court ruled that the European Central Bank (ECB) must provide additional clarifications about the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), which buys sovereign debt from eurozone countries in secondary markets, within three months. Otherwise, the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, will not be allowed to continue participating in the program. This would probably mean the end of the PSPP, given that the Bundesbank is the ECB’s largest shareholder. The ruling also opens the door to eventual legal challenges to the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP), the 750 billion euro ($816 billion) stimulus package that the ECB launched in March. Should the PEPP end abruptly, the recession in the eurozone
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