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FEATURE STORY August 23, 2017

Preventing Conflicts by Promoting Sustainable Development


With growing recognition that humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding efforts are complementary and need to reinforce each other, the United Nations and the World Bank Group have embarked a joint effort collaborating on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Initiative (HDPI). The two institutions use their distinct yet complementary roles to work together by sharing data, joint analysis, and assessment of needs in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. 

Although humanitarian crises demand urgent an response, the international community has called on development institutions like the World Bank Group (WBG) to provide longer-term, socio-economic solutions, engaging earlier to prevent violent conflict and reduce humanitarian need. This initiative is a priority for the WBG as a way to tackle the challenge of fragility and forced displacement through collective action.

The initiative will be implemented in about seven countries, starting with Cameroon (focusing on subnational conflict, and prevention of its spill-over to other regions of the country and across borders), Somalia (addressing protracted conflict, and strengthening existing coordination platforms), Yemen (identifying collective outcomes and sharing data to improve results), and Sudan (addressing forced displacement and providing more durable solutions for Internally Displaced Persons).

“Sustaining peace and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin,” wrote Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, and Oscar Fernández-Taranco, the United Nations’ Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support. “Sustainable development is key to sustaining peace and vice versa. [The new approach] focuses on the importance of having a long-term, comprehensive vision in all responses to violent conflict, to end vicious cycles of lapse and relapse.” Read More.