Violent conflict 5 is widely recognised as a major constraint on Africa’s development, with the World Bank estimating that almost 50 percent of African countries and over one in three of African people affected by it, directly or indirectly. For this reason donors are concerned to develop forms of engagement that help to reduce or prevent conflict and promote conditions for longer-term development.
Donor concerns have recently intensified as efforts to build peace in the immediate aftermath of hostilities have been accompanied by efforts to develop national Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs) as a way building commitment to long term poverty reduction and accessing concessional financing. This has raised questions about the potential synergy or trade-off between strategies for conflict reduction and strategies for poverty reduction, particularly given the risk of subsequent conflict in the first few years after the end of violent conflict. The extent to which a synergy exists between peace building and poverty reduction, and can be built on by national governments and the international community to enhance the prospects for longer-term development is a key question for this Briefing Note.