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 181 – 192 of 306

Project completed

Protection and basic provisions in Baghdad for internally displaced Iraqis

Aid recipients in Iraq queuing outside a supermarket at a point of distribution for food and other goods.

01.07.2014 - 30.09.2015

In December 2013, another armed conflict started in Iraq’s Anbar province, before rapidly spreading to central and northern Iraq. Large segments of the civilian population were forced to abandon their homes. Many of these refugees have fled to Baghdad, where they are not properly protected and have insufficient basic supplies. The SDC is supporting the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an international non-governmental organisation working on behalf of internally displaced persons in Baghdad.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Capital Baghdad

Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Human rights
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention and transformation
Material relief assistance
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Conflict prevention

01.07.2014 - 30.09.2015

CHF  1’425’000

Project completed

Integration of the Do No Harm Approach within the land restitution process

15.05.2014 - 31.10.2016

In Colombia, as an effect of the armed conflict, since 1985, 2-3 million people have been forced to abandon the equivalent of about 3 million hectares of land. In 2011, in order to solve the problem and prevent further land dis-possessions, the Colombian government ratified the Victims and Land Restitution Law 1448. Being aware of the deli-cate task to work on land restitution in an ongoing armed conflict, SDC with its experience in promoting the DNH approach continues to support the Ministry of Agriculture’s Land Restitution Unit to integrate the approach into the land restitution process in order to maximize its positive impacts while reducing its potential negative effects.

Project completed

Sudan – OCHA / UNDP, Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), 2014

17.04.2014 - 31.12.2014

The CHF is a multi-donor pooled fund, managed under the direction of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC). The fund finances projects of UN agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations. The CHF is used for timely allocation and disbursement of donor resources to the most urgent humanitarian needs and critical gaps in Sudan. The CHF meaningfully strengthens the response capacity and fosters at the same time greater sectoral responsibility and accountability – it has an important role in the current situation.

Project completed

Réhabilitation du patrimoine culturel endommagé par le conflit au Nord du Mali

01.04.2014 - 31.05.2017

Suite à l’occupation des régions du Nord (Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal et une partie de la région de Mopti) par des groupes armés, le patrimoine culturel est gravement endommagé. Des mausolées sont détruits et une partie des manuscrits pillée, l’identité de ces régions touchée. La Suisse, à la suite de la visite du secrétaire d’Etat à Tombouctou, contribue sur deux ans à la remise en état du patrimoine culturel à travers le projet de l’UNESCO. Cette dynamique fédératrice participe à la revitalisation du tissu social et culturel du pays.

Project completed

Contribution to Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF)

01.04.2014 - 31.12.2015

The DCPSF is a UNDP administered Multi Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) for Darfur and it has been established at the end of 2007 with focus on the root causes of the protracted humanitarian crisis which is mainly due to the multi-facetted conflict situation. The DCPSF funded projects provide humanitarian assistance combined with activities for community stabilisation and peace promotion. The DCPSF projects are part of the overall Humanitarian Work Plan and of the Darfur Development Strategy. The SCO Khartoum since 2007 is member of the DCPSF steering committee and can meaningfully influence the strategic approach of the fund.

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.

Object 181 – 192 of 306