Empowering Yemeni journalists amidst COVID-19 crisis
The World Health Organization (WHO) has denounced the “massive infodemic” of disinformation and misinformation swirling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as a driver of the crisis itself. In the current context, dis- and misinformation represent a serious challenge in addressing a viral epidemic.
In the context of Yemen, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a huge threat on a country already weakened by 5 years of conflict. The first case of COVID-19 in Yemen was recorded in April amongst fears that the depleted health system might not be capable of containing the virus outbreak. The proliferation of misinformation and disinformation puts even more lives and livelihoods at risk.
The situation in Yemen has called for urgent measures to equip local journalists with the necessary skills to best inform the public, raise awareness about the pandemic, and fight against disinformation. Equally important is the safety of these journalists, who already lack the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from threats, including those related to the current health crisis. As part of its immediate and specially tailored response, globally and at the national level, UNESCO partnered with the regional organization Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) to organize three capacity-development webinars for journalists in Yemen on how to communicate amidst the COVID-19 crisis.