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Livelihoods, chronic conflict and humanitarian response: a review of current approaches

Briefing/policy papers

Briefing/policy papers

A large part of the populations of several countries – including the more remote and agriculturally ‘difficult’ areas – live in situations of chronic conflict or political instability. Livelihoods interventions in these situations must have the ability to incorporate both ‘relief’ and ‘development’ modes of operation; what might normally be regarded as life-saving humanitarian assistance can be programmed to provide livelihood support. A balance must be struck which respects humanitarian principles, and yet adapts sufficiently to local conditions through adequate participation and flexibility. There remains considerable debate as to whether livelihoods approaches in chronic conflict situations are compatible with humanitarian principles, particularly independence, neutrality and impartiality.

Catherine Longley and Daniel Maxwell