Poverty reduction through conflict and disaster prevention

Two children on a cotton transport truck
Cotton production is an important sector of Kyrgyzstan’s economy and one of its key value chains. © SDC

Conflict, violence and human rights violations: these are among the main challenges to combating poverty and fragility in the wider sense. The fragility of a state is characterised by the government’s inability to ensure the security of the population and provide basic public services, alongside its failure to establish mutually constructive relations with the country’s citizens.

More than 40 countries around the globe, home to some 1.5 billion people, are affected by fragile situations or exposed to violence or conflict. By 2030, more than 80% of the world’s poorest could be living in fragile contexts unless more concerted action is taken now.

Fragility poses a major threat to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Addressing fragility will require greater acceptance of all its nuances by tailoring differentiated approaches to specific contexts and working across the full spectrum of issues, some of which are inherently difficult and sensitive.

Engagement in fragile contexts

Switzerland is stepping up its efforts to prevent and manage the consequences of crises, disasters and fragility. It intends to allocate 50% of its bilateral aid to conflict-affected or fragile contexts.

The SDC’s action in fragile contexts

Switzerland is committed to promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies. It works directly to ensure that no one is left behind.

Characteristics of fragile contexts

Fragile states and regions are characterised by weak institutions, high rates of poverty, violence, corruption and general arbitrariness. Fragility manifests itself in both development and transition contexts as well as humanitarian crises.

Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies

Focus on SDG 16+ to promote peaceful, equitable and inclusive societies for a sustainable development and to combat conflict.

Preventing conflict and all forms of violence

In preventing violent conflict, the aim is to stop previous conflicts from flaring up again and new conflicts from forming. The task is not simply to prevent crises but also to address the root causes.


Current projects

Object 193 – 204 of 313

Project completed

World Bank Multi-Partner Fund (MPF)

01.03.2014 - 30.06.2019

In 2013, the international community and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) agreed on a new framework of engagement (New Deal Compact for Somalia) to support peace and state building efforts in the war-torn country. With its contribution to the World Bank Multi-Partner Fund (MPF), which is one of the funding windows of the Compact, Switzerland will support the rebuilding of core state functions and the socio-economic recovery in Somalia.

Project completed

Project Support for United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

01.03.2014 - 31.12.2016

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system which undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues which has been located in Geneva since its creation in 1963. Through this single phase contribution SDC is supporting two of UNRISD’s research programs of particular interest and relevance to SDC: "When Security Meets Social Security: Social Policy in Post Conflict Settings" and "The Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Social Development".

Project completed

UNRWA General Fund 2014 - 2015

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2015

UNRWA is an agency for security and human development. It is active in providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to almost 5 million Palestine refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. Switzerland supports the organisation with CHF 20 million per year.

Project completed
Project completed

Contribution to UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

15.12.2013 - 30.11.2016

Despite the widespread violence against women and girls, which is a major cause of suffering, poverty and a serious barrier to development worldwide, too little is done to abolish it. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN-Women, awards grants to innovative projects to contribute to the acceleration of prevention, reduction and abolishment of violence against women and girls in all regions of the world.

Project completed

Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF)

01.12.2013 - 31.12.2022

The MDTF aims to reduce the socio-economic marginalisation of people, with focus on women, religious minorities and internally displaced people, in the Pakistan border regions to Afghanistan; the fund will contribute to state-building in the most fragile regions of the country by strengthening capacity of the subnational governments. Consequently, the population will get increased access to basic services and livelihood opportunities.

Project completed


01.12.2013 - 31.03.2017

In view of large humanitarian needs in the country, humanitarian air transport service for aid community is crucial; WFP UNHAS is the only viable transport option available to reach remote areas safely. UNHAS facilitates and secures the majority of travel of SDC humanitarian aid’s agents and cooperation programs in Chad, in order to enable them to monitor partners and programs. To maintain this service, UNHAS requires the support of technical and financial partners.

Project completed

Water management and peace promotion in the Middle East: Water as a source of peace

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016

Since 2009, Switzerland has been involved in a new type of cooperation which combines peace promotion and the sustainable management of water resources in the Middle East. This region is experiencing a major crisis caused by the decline in quality and the progressive drying up of numerous common water resources. An independent report published in 2011 established that the sustainable management of cross-border water resources on a political level could not only avoid natural disasters and human tragedies but could even develop into a means of promoting peace.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Near East
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention and transformation
Water diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Agricultural water resources
Conflict prevention
Water resources conservation

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016

CHF  3’048’000

Project completed

UNICEF Strengthening peace building and Recovery Results for Children and Women - SDC Global Institutions Support

15.11.2013 - 31.12.2015

One billion children live in areas affected by conflict and high levels of violence. The changing nature of conflicts and the fragility of states are a big challenge for recovery and peace-building. The operational presence of UNICEF before, during and after conflicts makes it a key stakeholder with competence in transition from emergency and recovery to development. This project strengthens the rights of children in fragile and post crisis situations by building up systematic capacities and learning in conflict sensitivity, peace building and recovery in fragile contexts.

Project completed

Clearing for Results 2011-2015

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2015

During the last 20 years Cambodia has made significant progress in clearing the remnants of landmine and unexploded ordinance contamination. Nevertheless 648 km2 of land remain contaminated. SDC will support the UNDP project Clearing for Results II (2011-15), implemented by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) to release up to 75 km² of mine-free land.

Project completed

Object 193 – 204 of 313