This edition of the Risk Bulletin continues our focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the political economy of the Western Balkans. As a second wave of the pandemic sweeps through the region, we look at how criminals and corrupt officials are seizing the opportunity to make money at the expense of citizens and how COVID-19 is exposing weaknesses in the healthcare systems and governance in countries of the Western Balkans.

While the focus of this Bulletin is mostly the risks posed by organized crime and corruption in the Western Balkans, we also profile what is being done to manage and reduce them. For example, this month we focus on the work of the SELEC, which, for two decades, has been improving cooperation among police and customs officials to fight transnational, serious and organized crime in the region.

In our series on resilience, we talk to the head of the NGO Mutual Action for Strengthening Alternative – supported by the GI-TOC’s Resilience Fund and based in the divided and crime-torn city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina – about how they see the problem of organized crime in their community and what they are doing to empower youth and integrate people from the margins of society.

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