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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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.


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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Towards a peace economy in Lebanon

International Alert recently published a report, Towards a peace economy in Lebanon, which examines the ways in which governance of Lebanon’s economy underpins its structural and overt conflict dynamics.

Oil and water?

International Alert is proud to announce the launch of our new photo essay, Oil and water?, which looks at the interaction between oil exploitation and other sources of livelihood in Uganda.

Oil and water?

The discovery of commercially viable oil in Uganda’s Albertine Graben region in 2006 set in motion the race for oil wealth across the country. As Uganda moves from exploration and appraisal to production, civil society organisations in both Uganda and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been raising concerns over the potential impact of oil activi

Peace Talks 16: Peace through prosperity

Peacebuilding is essential for the 1.5 billion people who live in countries affected by conflict. But economic development usually takes centre stage, in the eyes of governments, investors, voters, parents and young people wanting a better life.

The challenge is to make sure that economic improvement also brings peace. This is not automatic but plenty of experience shows it can be done.

Peace through prosperity

International Alert’s new report, Peace through prosperity, looks at the importance of integrating peacebuilding into economic development.

What does economic development mean for peace?

To mark the launch of Alert’s new report, Peace through prosperity: Integrating peacebuilding into economic development, author Phil Vernon, Director of Programmes at International Alert, answers our questions on how economic development can help foster peace. Does economic development always contribute to peace? Peace without economic development is impossible, for sure; but economic development does not automatically build peace. It can even undermine it. So we need economic development that is conducive to peace.