Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged international donors to step up funding of recovery and development efforts in countries emerging from violent conflict to give these nations hope of a durable peace.
“As countries come out of conflict, they need basic services: water and sanitation, health and primary education, and sound food and agriculture systems,” Mr. Ban told a gathering at United Nations Headquarters in New York, examining the connection between the security and socio-economic aspects of peacebuilding.
“They need support for the safe and sustainable return and reintegration of internally displaced persons [IDPs] and refugees,” Mr. Ban told the Forum on Food and Economic Crises in Post-Conflict Countries.
Noting that successful peacebuilding involves a combination of humanitarian action and efforts to strengthen peace and security, human rights and development, he said that the years after a brokered peace deal require urgent attention to social and economic needs.
“Civil conflict deeply disrupts economic and social life. It is devastating for human capital,” he told the forum, which was jointly organized by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Peacebuilding Commission and World Food Programme (WFP).
Mr. Ban said that on top of the challenges of rebuilding public administration systems, strengthening the rule of law, reforming the security sector and rehabilitating infrastructure, countries emerging from conflict in recent years have had to cope with the added impacts of high and volatile food and fuel prices and a decline in international aid.
“When international food prices soared in 2007 and 2008, net food importing countries, including many countries in conflict or emerging from it, were directly hit,” he said, adding that 30 countries were beset with rioting and “at least one government fell.”
Mr. Ban stressed that establishing basic security and providing early peace dividends in the immediate post-conflict period is key to harnessing confidence in a peace process.
“Too often, it takes many months before essential government functions resume or basic services are available. The result can be resumed conflict,” said Mr. Ban.
“We must find ways to close the gap between humanitarian and development funding and maintain adequate levels of humanitarian financing in the period immediately after conflict.”