Compounding risk

Disasters, fragility and conflict

Summary:

This policy brief outlines the relationship between conflicts and disasters, specifically focusing on how the impacts of natural disasters increase the risk of conflict and fragility. Using case study evidence from across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the paper focuses on three key 'drivers of conflict': exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and grievances; stretching governance capacities to respond; and delivering humanitarian assistance. The paper outlines how coinciding disasters and conflicts intensify the risk of protracted or future crises, and hamper crisis recovery efforts. The challenging operating environment in fragile and conflict-affected contexts can even result in humanitarian disaster responses doing harm and increasing community vulnerabilities.