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)

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.


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

Object 13 – 24 of 53

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.

UNDP SDG 16 delivery: Peaceful Societies, Justice, and Strong Institutions

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019

Switzerland supports the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its effort to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16). With this strategic contribution, Switzerland strengthens the capacity of UNDP to prevent and mitigate armed conflict and violence, to promote inclusive and accountable governance, including the rule of law, and to respond rapidly to crises. This builds on a long-standing successful partnership with UNDP on crisis prevention and response.

Renforcement de la cohésion sociale et de la résilience des populations dans la region de Ménaka

01.06.2016 - 31.08.2017

Après la signature d'un accord de paix entre les groupes d'oppositionj armés et le gouvernement du Mali, et en dépit d'un contexte sécuritaire dtendu, un retour progressif des populations déplacées se fait remarqué. Dace à la défradation des conditions de vie et des moyens d'existence liée aux aléas climatiwues et au conflit, la capacité de résilience des populations d'est beaucoup affaiblie. Ce projet, dans sa deuxième phase, vise à renforcer les capacités des acteurs locaux à mieux prévenir et gérer les conflits communautaires, et adopter des stratégies de résilience face aux crises. 

Colombia Information Management and Analysis Unit (CIMAU)

18.05.2016 - 31.05.2018

Colombia has been suffering from a protracted armed conflict, which affected the living conditions of over 7.5 million people. Colombia has a historic opportunity to achieve a peace agreement with the FARC-EP guerrilla in 2016, entering into a transition period out of conflict into local peace and statebuilding. In this post-conflict context, a data management system, taking into account not only humanitarian, but also peacebuilding and development needs is crucial to contribute to a more strategic decision making and better alignment and harmonization.

Colloque régional de l’Union Africaine « Radicalisation et extrémisme religieux violent au Sahel »

15.05.2016 - 31.10.2017

Le Sahel connaît depuis plusieurs années une recrudescence de l’extrémisme violent, avec des groupes terroristes et criminels capables d’élargir leur zone d’opération et de recrutement à des populations jusqu’ici épargnées par les phénomènes de radicalisation. La Suisse souhaite renforcer ses liens avec l’Union Africaine et lui apporter son soutien pour l’organisation de deux colloques au Mali et au Tchad, visant à renforcer la position des leaders religieux et traditionnels comme acteurs de paix et à sensibiliser contre les dangers de l’instrumentalisation des religions. 

TUR IRC Protection Center for Women and Girls in Osmaniye

01.01.2016 - 30.06.2017

There are 2,2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Women and girls - who constitute half of this population - are particularly vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and the denial of rights. As a systematic response to their protection needs is today still lacking, they often have difficulties in accessing general refugee assistance schemes for their specific needs. This project in Osmaniye province (southern Turkey) will therefore create a center especially dedicated to providing services and support to female refugees.

International NGO Safety Organisation - Afghanistan (INSO)

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018

The security situation in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly difficult. International NGO Safety Organisation provides Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with the necessary advice and services to maintain their operations and reach the vulnerable population. SDC and Swiss partners rely on INSO services to be able to stay engaged in Afghanistan. SDC’s support allows strengthening an independent and professional organization working for risk mitigation for NGOs in a fragile context.

PREST 5, Pistes rurales et désenclavement à l’Est (Mise à l’échelle des acquis de l’appui suisse à la réalisation et à l’entretien des pistes rurales par la méthode Haute Intensité de Main d’œuvre (HIMO))

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020

Les routes constituent un soutien à la croissance économique par la mobilité des personnes et des marchandises. Au Burkina Faso, elles demeurent en deçà des besoins et des référentiels de l’espace UEMOA. Partant de ce constat et sur l’expérience de la DDC, le gouvernement a souhaité que la Suisse finance conjointement un projet d’infrastructures et de mobilité avec la Banque Mondiale avec la méthode haute intensité de main d’œuvre (HIMO). Un inventaire des initiatives basées sur la méthode HIMO dans les 13 régions a été lancé en vue d’élaborer une politique nationale HIMO. La DDC s’engage à contribuer à ce projet et valorise la méthode HIMO à l’échelle nationale.

oPt: Community empowerment in the Gaza Strip

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018

SDC partnership with the Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) enables the provision of quality services in vulnerable and marginalized areas of the Gaza Strip. CFTA’s work aims at strengthening the capacities of the Palestinian civil society in the Gaza Strip through integrated programs for children, youth, and women – in particular non formal education, psychosocial support, artistic skills development, rights awareness and fighting against domestic violence -  and support to CBOs organizations and networks. CFTA is also a platform for youth and women to become active members of their communities.

Regional Art and Culture Programme in Central Asia

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

The programme builds on a vision that the strengthened and pluralistic cultural sector contributes to developing and empowering the civil society. The programme aims to protect and to enlarge a social space where democratic values can be expressed and intercultural dialogue happen. lt has the potential to allow marginalised voices to be heard and new or unpopular ideas to be shared.

Strengthening Rule of Law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

15.12.2015 - 14.12.2018

The Strengthening Rule of Law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) project aims to increase access to justice for the people, especially women and other vulnerable groups in KP, and support the government in its efforts to stabilise the region by strengthening the legal system. This project aims to support KP transition out of fragility by ‘establishing and strengthening people’s security’ and ‘addressing injustices’.

Multidonor Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): Improvement of Citizen Security in Latin America and the Caribbean

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2018

The support provided by SDC (single- phase project) focusses on improving the effectiveness of public policies on citizen security in the Latin American and Caribbean countries, as a response to high levels of violence in the region. SDC will contribute to the IDB Multidonor Fund of the Citizen Security Initiative (CSI), aiming to strengthen the capacity of states to implement public policies on citizen security and promote exchange of lessons learnt through regional dialogue and bi- and multilateral cooperation in earmarked projects.

Object 13 – 24 of 53