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Preventing conflict, sustaining peace and promoting human security


Armed conflicts constitute main obstacles to sustainable development. They create enormous human suffering and make pathways out of poverty more difficult. By 2030, OECD estimates that over 60% of the world’s poor will be living in countries affected by conflict and fragility. Total disbursement to conflict prevention, peace and security was SEK 733 million in 2016. 58% of all Sida support had peace and security as principal or significant objective.


Violent conflicts lead to human suffering in terms of loss of lives, displacement and increased levels of poverty, and for affected societies the pathways out of poverty are made more difficult. Sweden’s long-term commitment to human security, peacebuilding and conflict prevention is articulated in the Policy framework for Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. It identifies Peaceful and inclusive societies as one of eight prioritised thematic areas. The framework further establishes that all activities supported by Sida shall be permeated by a conflict perspective. For Sida and its implementing partners, this direction implies that opportunities to integrate conflict prevention, peace and human security shall be identified and that risks of conflict-insensitive practices shall be mitigated in all operations.

Thematic sub-areas identified by the Policy Framework include support to transparent, inclusive and responsive institutions; strengthened resilience against conflictrelated crises and capacity for peaceful conflict management; inclusive dialogue and mediation processes; increased participation and influence of women and girls, as well as youth, in conflict prevention and peace and state-building processes; and protection of children in armed conflict. Mine action, fight against illegal trade with small arms and light weapons (SALW), security sector reform and transitional justice processes are also prioritised areas for Sweden.

Sida’s development cooperation is increasingly directed towards countries in situation of conflict and fragility.

Among the seven countries receiving most development cooperation from Sida in 2016 five are severely affected by conflict and fragility: Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.