Fragility and violence impede poverty reduction

Supporters of the deposed president José Manuel Zelaya coming under fire from the Honduran army in 2009
Throughout the world, some 1.5 billion people live in countries where violence is part of daily life. © Laif/Redux-Stephen Ferry (Honduras, 2009) Laif/Redux-Stephen Ferry

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.

Engagement in fragile contexts

Switzerland has substantially increased its support for fragile and conflict-affected regions in the 2013–16 period.

The SDC’s work in fragile contexts

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.

Mines

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.

Characteristics of fragile contexts

Fragile countries or regions are characterised by weak or unstable institutions, poverty, violence, corruption and political arbitrariness.

Prevention of violent conflicts

In preventing violent conflict the aim is stop past conflicts from flaring up and new conflicts from breaking out.

Informazioni supplementari

Current projects

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State reform in Somalia

Sitting at his desk, a Hargeisa municipal employee enters paid bill details into a computer system.

01.08.2013 - 31.12.2017

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.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Somalia
Conflict prevention and transformation
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Public financial management (including activities against corruption)
Civilian peace-building and conflict resolution
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Public finance management
Civilian peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution

01.08.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 9'000'000



Inclusive territorial economic development in the Muskitia region

01.04.2021 - 31.12.2028

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 of civil-political-economic rights and social auditing.

01.05.2020 - 30.06.2027

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.


Support to Local Governance Programme (LoGo)

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2019

The programme will reduce the potential for conflict in the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by improving the relationship and trust between the people and the State; as part of the ongoing decentralization reform, the programme will strengthen the basis for accountable and participatory local government processes leading to more efficiency of local governments and public services responding to all citizens’ needs, including those of the most vulnerable.


Trans-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

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.


Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Resource Center (IHLRC) “Closing the Compliance Gap”

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019

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.


Contribution to UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

01.12.2016 - 30.11.2021

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.


Palestinian Population, Housing, and Establishment Census 2017

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2018

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.


Access to Justice in Tajikistan

01.12.2016 - 30.11.2020

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.


Prevention of Domestic Violence in Tajikistan

01.10.2016 - 30.09.2019

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.


United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

01.09.2016 - 31.12.2018

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 assistance programs.


Tahaddi Community Empowerment Programme

01.08.2016 - 30.09.2019

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.

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