Peace Matters Index

development and security

ONLINE contents

- oppressed and vilified
- corruption unlimited
- falklands action
- development and security
- problems with powers
- resisting the falklands war
  a retrospective
- Two Empires Gone and No Kipling Yet

- compled issue pdf

THERE IS A GROWING CONSENSUS that development and security are closely linked. This is backed up by statistical evidence of a strong correlation between violent conflict and poverty. For example, a conflict affected country typically has only one-third the per capita income of a country with similar characteristics but at peace
Poverty and underdevelopment make countries more vulnerable to violent conflict. Underdevelopment is linked to weak state capacity, causing countries to be less able to manage conflicts peacefully. It undermines the state’s ability for sound and equitable economic and environmental management and is linked to scarcity of resources such as pasture and water which, particularly in situations where there are sharp divisions based on ethnicity or religion, can increase the likelihood of conflict between groups. It also affects demography and social structures leading to high child to adult ratios which are associated with greater conflict risks. Poverty and underdevelopment are also linked to an increase in armed violence, even where major conflict is not present. Pressure on resources can undermine livelihoods and push groups and individuals into armed crime, such as cattle rustling, banditry and theft – a common occurrence in the underdeveloped pastoralist areas and poor urban areas of East Africa.

On the other side of the coin, conflict and armed violence increase poverty and undermine development. Conflict destroys physical and human capital, disrupts economic activity and livelihoods, reducing growth, trade and investment. It destroys health and education systems and causes the rapid movement of refugees and internally displaced persons, deepening poverty and inequality by spreading malnutrition and infectious diseases and reducing educational opportunities. At the same time, conflict encourages high levels of military expenditure, diverting essential resources away from development and poverty alleviation. High levels of gun violence also obstruct poverty alleviation, deter investment, restrict food production and distribution and undermine livelihoods in both rural and urban areas. There is also a growing recognition that freedom from fear is central to well-being and that enhancing human security is important in improving the lives of the poor. This is reflected in the views and experiences of those living in poverty, who express security of the person and property as a key issue.

Aid and Conflict in Uganda from Saferworld argues that major donor institutions are now recognising development as the indispensable foundation for, and poverty as one of the key threats to, security. It outlines some of the issues based on the situation in Uganda. It’s not a report for the general reader and is heavily sprinkled with acronyms but as it is free; you can download it at it’s worth the effort for those who want to sharpen up their arguments and have practical suggestions to make.


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