When rural people’s livelihoods are secure and resilient, peace can thrive—but with poverty and conflict being interconnected, the converse is also true. Extreme poverty is both a symptom and a driver of conflict. By eradicating discrimination and poverty, communities can become more stable and prosperous.
IFAD supports the poorest and most marginalized people to contribute towards a more peaceful world where everyone can access dignified work that fosters shared economic prosperity.
For example, IFAD promotes the economic, social and political empowerment of Afro-descendant peoples in Latin America by financing projects that help them grow their businesses and by supporting initiatives that recognise the importance of their cultures. Among the communities supported were the Chincha group in Peru and the Basilio de Palenque community in Colombia. With support from IFAD, both groups are marketing traditional drinks so they can protect their ancestral knowledge while earning a decent living.
In the semi-arid lands of western Sudan, resources, like water and grazing lands, are hard to come by as drought and desertification take over. When resources are scarce, it takes little to spark conflict. IFAD brokered a co-management agreement with pastoralists, settled villages, community groups and governments to help resolve conflicts along livestock routes while simultaneously improving the management of natural resources.
In Brazil, the Rural Sustainable Development Project enhances social cohesion by working with community-based organizations and incorporating traditional approaches to conflict resolution. Moreover, by promoting sustainable and ecologically friendly farming and food production practices, the project reduces poverty, particularly among Indigenous communities, lowering the risk of conflict.
All 31 households from the village of Parsali in eastern India once used the same tube well to access unclean water, with supply quickly dwindling. This resulted in waterborne diseases and heightened tensions between the village’s different social factions, particularly during the summer months when water levels dropped significantly.
To mediate the ongoing conflict, under the OPELIP project, government agencies and NGOs met with local people. A unanimous decision was made to build two solar-powered boreholes, giving groups equal access and usage rights to water resources, thereby lessening the chances of conflict and restoring health and tranquility to the community.
Back in Colombia, IFAD supported an initiative to help reconstruct the social fabric and contribute to the Peace Process after decades of violence that led to a lack of opportunities for rural people. The IFAD-supported “PUENTES” project partnered with ICCO Cooperation to link vulnerable young people with producers in the gastronomy and tourism sectors through the “Anfitriones para la paz” initiative. This enhances social cohesion and stability as young people devote themselves to sustainable activities, improve their livelihoods and strengthen rural economies.
By promoting productive and resilient rural livelihoods, IFAD investments pave the way for peace and prosperity.
Originally published on ifad.org