Browse by Theme: Conflict & Fragility

As Conflict Policy Advisor for CARE International UK, I'm currently in Amman, Jordan, responding to the crisis in Syria. Now, as Kuwait II or the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria comes to a close I'm taking the opportunity to review the conference, as well as the expectations and hopes of humanitarian agencies like CARE.

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Today, the United Nations and aid agencies like CARE launched a new regional response plan and funding appeal for the Syrian crisis. The needs are vast. Over one third of the population in Syria has been forced to leave their homes. One in three children has lost or become separated from their fathers.

The appeal seeks to assist 660,000 refugees in camps, 3.44 million refugees in urban and rural areas, and 2.7 million people in host communities. It calls for US$6.5 billion. That is US$2 billion more than the current plan, which was only 69 per cent met.

Sadly, seemingly intractable crises like the Syrian conflict attract less funding than major natural disasters like the Asian tsunami or the recent typhoon in the Philippines. Most worryingly, we have heard rumours that some donor nations have hit the ceiling on their projected contributions to the crisis. Wealthy nations need to break this pattern for the sake of the many millions affected by the horrific war in Syria.

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According to the latest UN statistics, of the total population affected by Typhoon Haiyan, an estimated 47,600 women are at risk of sexual violence. In the evacuation centres, an estimated 2,250 women are also at risk.

We know that disasters impact men and women differently - but how can we get better at factoring this into account in international aid efforts?

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As world leaders gathered yesterday in New York for the high-powered UN General Assembly, the governments of Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States and over 100 other countries launched a new ‘Declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict’. Why now and what does it mean?

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Surprisingly robust and informative – my verdict on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) 2012 standards on environmental social sustainability from a conflict sensitivity perspective. Perhaps we should spend a bit more time learning from the sector many NGOs love to hate.

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Bill Gates claims to read 20-30 books a month. Yet the truth is most of us working in development rarely read a book cover to cover. ‘Book Off’ – is CARE International UK’s (CIUK’s) attempt to tap into the best new ideas without spending a day in the library. My contribution to this month’s rapid fire discussion group was a look at conflict guru Chris Cramer’s seminal book, Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing, from 2006, and the key ideas it contains.

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The Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) largest community reconstruction programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rewarding the four best performing councils in the region of Maniema more than $100,000 of investment to part fund their own development plans. Can this work and how can the potential pitfalls be avoided?

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