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Recovering from conflict

Oct 29, 2008

UNDP’s latest report Post-Conflict Economic Recovery: Enabling Local Ingenuity emphasises that recovery programming in war-torn countries must be based on sound understanding of local dynamics. It calls upon international partners to rebuild state’s capacity by generating employment and restoring livelihoods.

Post-Conflict Economic Recovery: Enabling Local Ingenuity

Publisher: UNDP, 2008

For many countries, the war-to-peace transition continues to be fragile and reversible.

This report provides ideas for how post-conflict countries can build on their existing capacities to assume primary responsibility for their own recovery.

The challenges faced by post-conflict countries are more serious in several respects than those faced by poor but peaceful developing countries.

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These include severely weakened state capacity, destroyed physical, human and social capital, distorted economic incentives, widespread poverty and massive unemployment.

Some also have to cope with criminal networks that plunder their resources, and former warlords who resist relinquishing power. These conditions place war-torn countries at continuing risk of relapsing into violent conflict.

The report argues that the economic policy priorities for countries in post-conflict recovery should take these differences into account. They should include minimising the risk of conflict recurrence and restoring confidence in social, political and economic institutions.

Towards this end, according to the findings reviewed in the report, it is important to enhance the ability of the state to provide security for households and communities, including economic security, by enforcing the rule of law and delivering essential social services.

It argues that economic recovery priorities must focus on employment, encourage productive investment, mitigate business risks and reduce group inequalities.

The report emphasises on supporting different facets of conflict prevention and recovery and peacebuilding efforts such as helping to restore livelihoods, shelter and government capacities.

Building on UNDP’s work and experience in this area, this report argues that post-conflict recovery strategy and policy should be anchored in the local engines of economic recovery.

The study cites examples of countries that have succeeded in rekindling post-conflict economies and those that continue to flounder, discussing the foundations that are so vital to foster post-conflict economic recovery.

The report not only recognises that local actors can drive recovery, it also calls upon international partners to support debt relief, to generate employment, and to support national efforts to rebuild the capacity of the state and secure its legitimacy.

Through this lens the report examines how the legacies of conflict might be dealt with at household and community, macroeconomic policy and state levels.

Source : UNDP
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