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Challenging Choices: Protection and livelihoods in Darfur

Working papers

During conflict, the threats that people face to their protection and their livelihoods are frequently interrelated. Violence against civilians, lack of freedom of movement and denial of land and property rights all have major implications for people's livelihoods. The disruption of basic services, limited access to employment, markets and farms, and loss of productive capacities are common characteristics of war.

This working paper explores the linkages between protection and livelihoods for rural populations in West Darfur. Undertaken as part of a programme review for the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the study illustrates the difficult choices conflict-affected people face in balancing risks to their lives and to their livelihoods. The research shows how the availability of assistance in rural areas has played a part in providing communities in the Zalingei area of Darfur with greater options for subsistence and safety. It concludes by highlighting the potential for more effective action to link livelihoods and protection.

Susanne Jaspars and Sorcha O'Callaghan