Investment, trade and aid can have adverse effects on local communities and economies, undermining peace and even creating or exacerbating conflict.

We help companies to assess the risks and impacts of their operations on local communities.

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Introduction: 

Investment, trade and aid can generate significant economic wealth and help support social development. However, they can also have adverse effects on local communities and economies, undermining peace and even creating or exacerbating conflict.

We help companies to assess the risks and impacts of their operations on local communities, to ensure their activities do not fuel tensions or violence. We advise governments and international institutions on how to enhance the peacebuilding potential of their economic policies and projects. We also support local communities to shape and benefit from economic development.

Our work is important because investment and trade can help support peace and development, but those who invest in conflict-prone and high-risk places often lack the skills and experience to avoid exacerbating instability and violence.

Why: 

Businesses that invest in conflict-prone or high-risk areas often experience reduced access to markets and capital, damaged infrastructure and direct attacks on personnel and assets.

By proactively adopting policies and practices which are sensitive to local conflict contexts, comply with human rights standards and follow best practices in corporate sustainability, businesses can minimise any adverse impact their conduct and investment could have on local communities. In doing so, they can also reduce risks to their operations and contribute to local stability and development.

It is also important to better utilise the positive role that domestic and international investment and trade can play in supporting peace and development in conflict-prone countries. This needs to be reflected in the international community’s economic recovery efforts and government policies and practices, which should promote and support activities that encourage economic recovery and private sector development.

Finally, it is important to empower local populations and civil society organisations to better protect their rights, and to shape and benefit from the economic activities affecting their communities.

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Business matters

International Alert has published an article on the role that business can play in supporting peace in Pakistan, in the latest issue of the journal, Business, Peace and Sustainable Development.

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Liberia rising

Workshop participantEarlier this month International Alert conducted a three-day workshop on peaceful natural resource management in Liberia.

The workshop was part of our ongoing efforts to promote sustainable economic development in the country – a key theme of the government’s ‘Liberia Rising 2030’ plan.

Crossings: The journey to peace

On Wednesday 12 February 2014, International Alert launched Crossings: The journey to peace.

Featuring images by award-winning photographer Carol Allen Storey, with interviews by independent researcher Alexis Bouvy, this photo essay and exhibition offers a compelling glimpse into the lives of cross-border traders in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and illustrates their potential to contribute to peace in the region.

Fourth International Forum: Energy for Sustainable Development

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), in collaboration with the organisers of the yearly Investing in African Mining Indaba, presents the fourth Sustainable Development forum at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on 3rd-6th February 2014.

Senior Project Manager at International Alert Yadaira Orsini will be participating in the forum. For media enquiries, please contact: communications@international-alert.org

 

Food security in Pakistan

As part of World Food Day 2013 celebrations, International Alert held its Farmer Convention in Islamabad on 27 October 2013.