Browse by Theme: Conflict & Fragility

Last week the House of Lords inquiry into the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative published their conclusions and called for the initiative to be put on a much firmer footing within UK foreign policy and in the international calendar. CARE was one of many who gave written evidence and we welcome the strong report. With key events this year and four years left of this Parliament, this is a good time for the government to re-commit to this agenda and redouble its efforts on human rights.

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50 per cent of DFID’s budget is now allocated to conflict-affected and fragile states. The UK government is also demonstrating a leading role on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda with ambitious commitments made at the High-Level Review of UNSCR 1325. But is political commitment to WPS stuck at the global level? What is being done to improve the situation for women and girls on the ground?

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Last week leading donors gathered in Paris to redraw the rules of Overseas Aid, and some of the changes, including more categories of military and police assistance, are raising concerns.

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This week, days on from the #SupportingSyrians Conference, and like everyone else, I watched the news to see the devastation caused as Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes rained down on civilians in the Aleppo region and 35,000 people fled to the border with Turkey. Ten billion dollars pledged by world leaders, yet where are these leaders as Syrians cry out for protection from the violence? In the words of one Syrian activist last week, “What use is funding if the sieges prevent aid reaching those trapped inside and starving to death? What use is funding if our health clinics are bombed to the ground? What use is support for schools if barrel bombs fall on our children?”

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I met several Syrians in Jordan and Turkey during a recent visit (mid-January). All of them said they just wanted the war and the violence to stop so they could go home. Some were more hopeful than others that this would happen soon. But that’s what they all wanted.

So, what if we try to be a bit optimistic. Are we ready to respond if we get what we’re asking for?

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The signing of the Compromise Peace Agreement in August removed one obstacle on the long road to peace in South Sudan, but the future is far from certain. For the fragile peace to take root, South Sudan and its international backers must show patience and ensure equal weight is given to both peacebuilding and economic development.

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As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, youth of all genders from the Balkans to the Great Lakes of Africa are joining together to change their societies. CARE International believes we should build on this momentum to make 2016 the Year of Engaging Men and Boys in stopping gender-based violence - and that reaching young people through education is key.

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