There is increasing attention being given to countries in situations of conflict, as donors, governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) prepare for Aid Effectiveness negotiations at the end of 2011 in Busan, South Korea.
Currently around 50 per cent of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) bilateral aid money is channelled to conflict-affected countries, yet not one of these countries has achieved a single Millennium Development Goal. In fact, World Bank statistics affirm that the 1.5 billion people who live in countries affected by conflict (defined by political violence or high levels of homicide) are twice as likely to be undernourished and 1.5 times as likely to be impoverished, and their children are three times as likely to be out of school. A new report by CIVICUS reveals that half of all post-conflict countries resume conflict within ten years, highlighting that existing aid models are failing to achieve sustainable peace and development.
The report, Civil Society Organisations in Situations of Conflict, demonstrates why development actors must pay greater attention to the specific challenges posed by individual countries when designing sustainable development programmes. In consultation with over 200 CSOs throughout the world, the report analyses why citizens must be central to strategies that address weak governance and curb rising inequality, exclusion and injustice. Social accountability and citizen participation are essential to building healthy and peaceful societies around the world, the report concludes. Decreasing space for CSOs and fewer opportunities to participate in governance processes are major challenges for them in operating effectively.
This report is particularly timely, with more than 30 countries currently embroiled in violent conflict, and countries in the Middle East and northern Africa experiencing widespread upheaval now joining this group.
To download the report