The Institute for Effective Governance and Stabilization (IEGS) is striving hard to influence the strategic approach of International Donors and International community towards resolving conflicts through different measures. Traditional dispute and conflict resolution tools are no longer effective in the current conflict scenario of the world. This know-how series article highlights some of the basic adjustments that need to be adopted and a few recommendations for intervention to be more effective and result oriented.
Livelihood for the common man in the conflict effected and fragile situation is no longer a challenge but, it is pervasively turning into a survival game.
More than 21% of global population live in fragile or conflict effected countries around the world. According to World Bank annually released (The harmonized list of Fragile Situations) report unfortunately, this number is on the rise. Livelihood for the common man in the conflict effected and fragile situation is no longer a challenge but, it is pervasively turning into a survival game. All global observers and experts unanimously agree that the absence of employment is one of the main drivers of fragility and conflict.
The situation is further complicated by weak state writ, legitimacy and capacity to do deal with and prevent the emerging disagreement between different stakeholders that can lead to a violent conflict. The people of prolonged conflict stricken sittings become so desperate that they can do almost anything to feed their children and families as well as protect themselves from the atrocities of hostile opposition. This provides a unique opportunity for the conflicting parties to consolidate their positions by engaging more and more helpless people in their folds. They use them as their foot soldiers as well as human shield whenever required. This was the case in ISIS held areas in Syria and Iraq, and the same situation prevails in Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan. On the other hand, this unpleasant union offers the unprotected and defenseless population a bare chance of upholding trivial subsistence and unguaranteed protection.
Whenever a conflict emerges, International donors and international security apparatus pour in their aid in frantic effort intending to control and eliminate it. Most of the times the aid falls into the hands of those who are actually responsible for the conflict e.g. war lords, corrupt government officials and military men.
The private sector is one of the major contributors of conflict prevention and mitigation. It will not be entirely convincing to say that the private sector or in other words small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can single handedly convert a fragile or conflict situation into peaceful and stable one. But it can greatly reduce and narrow down the window of temptation for radicalization by providing jobs to the public and some form of revenue to the governments. It enables the governments to provide basic services such as health and education and gives the public a hope of legitimate earnings.
Whenever a conflict emerges, International donors and international security apparatus pour in their aid in frantic effort intending to control and eliminate it. Most of the times the aid falls into the hands of those who are actually responsible for the conflict e.g. war lords, corrupt government officials and military men. Due to the ineffective and ill-planed response, the real victims of conflict do not receive the proper and due assistance and the actual cause of the conflict is not addressed. As result the conflict gets intensified and deepened. For instance, in Afghanistan, in Iraq and so many other parts of the world, this remedy only has aggravated the disease.
International community’s response to international security crisis such as in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and so many other countries who are severely gripped by conflict is very unavailing if not a total failure. The international assistance and aid must be well-planed and based on sound judgement of the ground realities if it aims to achieve its intended objectives. Progress towards objectives should be measured with a proactive plan.
International community generally focuses on social sector whenever they try to intervene for resolving a conflict. It includes education, health, medical care, water supply, sanitation, poverty alleviation and housing conditions etc. But the problem with the social sector is that it is always fed or maintained by foreign aid, most of its supported components start falling apart as soon as the aid drawdowns. More often than not it misses its targets altogether or ended up prematurely.
Problem with the social sector is that it is always fed or maintained by foreign aid, most of its supported components start falling apart as soon as the aid drawdowns. More often than not it misses its targets altogether or ended up prematurely.
Private sector is the make it or break it factor for conflict situation. It is both cause and effect of the conflict. There are very high chances of sustainability for private sector initiatives to be sustainable because of the ownership. Every private business is owned by some people who try their level best to protect it or make it successful no matter how demanding the situation is. It cements the interest of the people with their localities and prevents them from engaging in subversive activities.
Therefore, for the international community intervention to be effective enough, a substantial amount of aid should be directed towards developing and protecting the private sector with the intention of supporting the people and the government of conflict affected countries on sustainable basis. Programs aimed at producing and encouraging young business leaders should be initiated to support the youth. As the young talent and spirit join the private sector, it will give a new dimension to businesses and will increase employment opportunities in the conflict zone. This will provide an alternative for the people fighting with each other.