Conflict rips at the social fabric of communities, turning neighbors into enemies. Mercy Corps works proactively to mitigate and prevent conflict by bringing diverse communities together and empowering communities to find non-violent means to work together. This is now more important than ever as we face the largest displacement crises ever, with 65 million men, women and children driven from their homes and historic humanitarian needs. In fact, 80% of humanitarian funding goes to support families whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict.
If we are to seriously address the global displacement crisis, we must make bigger, smarter, and more sustained investments in high-level diplomatic efforts to broker peace agreements and grassroots peacebuilding.
Read Mercy Corps’ latest report, “An Ounce of Prevention: Why increasing investment in conflict prevention is worth more than a 'pound of cure' in addressing the displacement crisis," that highlights how peacebuilding programs can help prevent and mitigate conflict. See here for a letter from 46 organizations calling on President Obama to commit to doubling investments in peacebuilding.
We advocate for governments, foundations and regional and international organizations like ECOWAS and the United Nations to support policies, funding, and activities that will help prevent or end conflicts.
With increased support from these institutions, we believe we can further improve interventions, learn from what has or has not worked to better help millions of people living in vulnerable communities.
Every fall, the world unites in New York for the UN General Assembly. This past September, on the sidelines of this major gathering, leaders will meet to discuss migration challenges and the biggest refugee crisis of our time. Mercy Corps believes that the world should not lose sight of the drivers of displacement. We have issued the following policy recommendations for both the UN High Level Meeting on Addressing Large Scale Movements of Refugees and Migrants, as well as President Obama's Refugee Summit.
On April 15, 2016, Mercy Corps' Vice President for Global Engagement and Policy Andrea Koppel submitted a Statement for the Record at a hearing on "The Causes and Consequences of Violent Extremism and the Role of Foreign Assistance" before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Her statement highlights nearly a decades' worth of Mercy Corps research on the drivers of political violence and offers tangible steps forward for communities and governments seeking to reduce violent conflict.