Fragility, conflicts, violence and human rights violations: these are among the main challenges to poverty reduction. Fragility within a state is characterised by the government’s inability to provide security and basic public services. A constructive and reciprocal relationship between the government and the citizens is also lacking.
It is estimated that worldwide more than 40 states are beset by violence and conflict, affecting a total population of some 1.5 billion who count among the world’s poorest. SDC works to alleviate the causes of conflict, strengthen basic public services and increase respect for human rights.
A majority of the countries considered as fragile have failed to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose primary aim it is to halve world poverty by 2015. The local populations suffer from violent conflicts, uncertain political conditions and weak governance.
The SDC’s work in fragile contexts is based on the ten OECD principles and includes the following objectives: reducing the causes of conflicts, increasing resistance to crises and improving the human rights situation.
Spesso colpiscono la popolazione civile quando il conflitto è già ampiamente concluso. Le vittime sono quasi sempre civili, un quarto sono addirittura bambini. Ripulire un terreno dalle mine è un'operazione laboriosa, costosa e pericolosa.
In Myanmar, the villages close to the Thai border have seen more
than six decades of conflict. Geographically isolated, and in some
cases under the control of armed indigenous ethnic groups, these
villages are beyond the reach of central government authority. Their
inhabitants must do with infrastructures that are in a perilous
state. Working alongside the affected communities and other
partners, the SDC is committed to restoring basic services, with the
particular involvement of the young people in the region.
Conflict prevention and transformation
Civilian peace-building and conflict resolution
Formal basic education (primary and lower secondary)
The SDC is supporting a decentralisation project in Somalia. The
aim is to promote peace and development by strengthening the
capacity of local authorities to meet the needs of the population.
The project has already produced some encouraging results.
Conflict prevention and transformation
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Public financial management (including activities against corruption)
The Muskitia indigenous region requires strategic changes that favour
inclusive economic development and reduce violent conflict over land
use and maritime resources. For this reason the program strengthens
territorial governance, improves the business climate and increases
access to services. This includes supporting 8 of the 12 territorial
councils in stimulating productive sector value chains such as cocoa,
fish, and basic grains that generate employment and income for 10,000
families and consolidate indigenous businesses.
Strengthening civil-political-economic rights, freedom of expression
and social auditing is a priority to ensure the functioning of the
rule of law and respect for human rights in Honduras. The role of
civil society is essential in the construction of citizenship and to
ensure a system of check and balance. Therefore, the program will
support 6 to 8 national civil society organization with strong
anchoring in the territories to promote jointly in a concerted,
impartial and evidence based way these topics.
Jointly with the Swedish Embassy, Switzerland supports a trans-border
dialogue for peace in the Great Lakes region, a program run by
Interpeace with 6 local NGOs. This second phase will continue using
research and dialogue to address stereotypes and lack of trust behind
recurrent conflicts in the Great Lakes region. Research and dialogue
constitute the basis to engage decision makers, to promote good
governance and concrete consensus-based solutions taking into account
local populations’ concerns and recommendations.
The Swiss contribution supports Diakonia’s International Humanitarian
Law Resource Centre (IHLRC) to respond to the demand for accurate and
principled legal analysis on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and
International Human Rights Law in the oPt, and to make it accessible
to States and relevant organizations to ensure that their policies and
international aid are not in contradiction with international law.
This intervention is in line with the Swiss Foreign Policy in the
Region and SDC Cooperation Strategy 2015-2018 that aims to promote
respect for International Law, to ensure protection by all
duty-bearers of the rights of the Palestinian population.
SDC will support the realisation of the third Palestinian Population,
Housing, and Establishment Census in 2017 through a targeted
contribution to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
This project is co-financed by the Palestinian Authority and by a
range of donors which acknowledge thereby the need to conduct a
national census on a regular basis (every ten years) to produce
reliable development data and statistics that support the design and
implementation of effective policies conducive to reaching the goals
of Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals). Such data are even
more important in fragile contexts, such as the oPt.
Switzerland is renewing its contribution to the system-wide United
Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF). As the only
global multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to
supporting local and national efforts to ending violence against women
and girls (EVAW/G), including in fragile and conflict contexts, the
UNTF has the advantage to possess a global overview of the legal
provisions and practices, methods of prevention and types of support
services needed. Dissemination of good practice will be strengthened
to inform policy and programming.
Through this project, Switzerland will accompany the Government in
realizing a state system providing free legal aid, which will allow
the vulnerable (poor) individuals in Tajikistan to better protect
their rights and in particular to claim various benefits (e.g.
pensions, child allowances). This system will replace the current
NGO provided legal aid services. A space for dialogue between civil
society and state authorities will also be preserved and will
contribute to addressing further legal challenges faced by the population.
Domestic violence is widespread in Tajik society (70% of women
experience domestic violence in their life). Despite the adoption of
the law on domestic violence in 2013, the Government lacks
coordinated mechanisms for its implementation. In the exit phase the
project will shift from NGO based service provision towards
supporting the state coordination mechanisms, the establishment of
an effective public referral system providing services to the
victims, and public awareness activities with a focus on
contributing to behavioural changes.
The conflict in the eastern part of the country has aggravated the
human rights situation in Ukraine which requires a comprehensive
international monitoring and engagement with relevant actors. The
United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission is well placed to
help identifying human rights gaps and concerns in Ukraine, and to
formulate specific recommendations for shaping policies and
The shantytowns in southern Beirut, Hay Al-Gharbeh and Sabra Al
Horsh, are home to more than 10'000 marginalized people, amongst
them also Syrians, who fled their country. In the absence of public
services, the local NGO Tahaddi seeks to alleviate the dire
conditions for the inhabitants through social services ,
psychological support, health and education programs. Besides
supporting the ongoing program, the SDC contribution also
strengthens Tahaddi's organisational development.