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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Peace Talks 16: Peace through prosperity

International Alert is pleased to invite you to attend the 16th in a series of Peace Talks:

Peace through prosperity: Building businesses, livelihoods and peace at the same time

Tuesday 14 July 2015 from 19.00 at The Royal Society,6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

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.

Mobilising private finance for development: The peace connection

In April this year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) made a big call. It essentially said we will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In particular, we will not achieve SDG 1 on eradicating extreme poverty. Worrisome, given we have not yet even finalised the SDGs, but not a revelation to those working on fragile and conflict-affected states – those states that were left behind by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Border life in DRC and Rwanda

Ms Sri Mulyani Indrawati talking to the women tradersOn May 13, International Alert facilitated a meeting of the World Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ms Sri Mulyani Indrawati, with four women cross-border traders in Rubavu district, Rwanda.

Conflict-sensitive employment in Afghanistan

This research project looks at the drivers and challenges of conflict-sensitive employment (CSE) strategies and investment in the labour intensive construction, infrastructure and transport sectors in Afghanistan. We also work in close cooperation with companies to run pilot schemes and develop concrete strategies on CSE, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups. We will also work to embed and advocate for CSE in investment strategies in Afghanistan and beyond.

Trading for peace in the Great Lakes

A three-day advocacy campaign to support women’s civic, political and economic empowerment in the Great Lakes region of Africa has ended with calls to ensure that the rights of women cross-border traders are respected and their contribution to peacebuilding is recognised.

Regulating trade across conflict divides

International Alert has published two reports on regulating economic relations across the Georgian–Abkhaz conflict divide.

The reports are part of ongoing work to assess the potential of mutual economic interest as a basis for conflict transformation in the region.

Регулирование торговли через спорные границы

В данной публикации рассмотрено три примера временных нормативно-правовых рамок для ведения торговли: Тайвань-Китай, Косово-Сербия и Кипр (Республика Кипр и Северный Кипр).