Issue 6 - Article 10

Direct Funding for Conflict Prevention

November 1, 1996
Humanitarian Practice Network

This article briefly sets out ODA’s approach to conflict-related work, outlining support measures available to NGOs and other agencies seeking support for conflict reduction activities.

Following Baroness Chalker’s (UK Minister for Overseas Aid) address to the Institute for International Affairs (IIA), Stockholm, on 1 October, on the contribution of aid to conflict reduction, a new fund has been set up at the ODA to help agencies working towards conflict prevention.

The Seedcorn Fund, managed by the Conflict Policy Unit, supports conflict prevention, resolution or reduction projects where alternative sources of funding through ODA’s geographical, sectoral or research departments do not exist.

The fund was created as part of a new approach the ODA is taking toward conflict prevention, detailed in an ODA booklet launched at the Minister’s address to the IIA.

The booklet, “Conflict Reduction Through the Aid Programme” reflects growing concern at the increase in conflicts worldwide. Since 1980s, the proportion of development assistance OECD countries spend on emergency relief has risen from three to 10 per cent.

The 10 page booklet was written for agencies seeking support for conflict reduction activities. It explains how aid can contribute to conflict reduction, the role ODA plays, and how agencies can apply for funding.

It asks the important question, hitherto often skirted by humanitarian agencies – can aid activities really reduce violent conflict?

The ODA view is yes, partially. “Through helping to build the political and social space in which disputes can be resolved non violently, a range of traditional and non-traditional aid activities can contribute to the prevention, resolution or reduction of violent conflict, and the reconciliation of groups within divided societies.”

The recent booklet details ways in which aid projects can help reconciliation work in the short and longer term such as community-based mediation, the strengthening of civil society, and support for independent media during a conflict.

The booklet also outlines the work of the Conflict Policy Unit, which was established to integrate conflict handling within the policy and practice of the British Aid Programme.

To obtain a copy of the booklet, a transcript of the UK’s Overseas Aid Minister’s speech, or to apply for funding, contact:
Conflict Policy Unit
Emergency Aid Department
Overseas Development Administration
94 Victoria Street
Tel: +44 171 917 0061
Fax: +44 171 917 0502


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