Disaster-Conflict Interface: Comparative Experiences

Disaster-Conflict Interface: Comparative Experiences

Source: UNDP, 2011

Author(s): Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP

Countries: Bolivia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Zimbabwe

Topics: Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods

Added: 17/01/2015


Many developing countries experience both disasters and conflict at the same time. The interaction between the two creates and perpetuates vulnerabilities that place communities at risk, further entrenching poverty and inequality. Development trends such as climate change and unsustainable urbanization likely will make these issues worse.



It makes intuitive sense to assume that the geographical overlap of both disaster and conflict worsens the impact of crises, but evidence for this is limited. Analyses of concrete case study observations are also limited, and those that do exist come from different unconnected disciplines.



However, contexts in which conflicts and disasters overlap are daily realities for people who are affected, as well as for many humanitarian and development practitioners. Effective programmes to manage crisis interventions need to reflect conflict-disaster complexities and respond to them in a holistic and integrative manner. Experience has also shown that development interventions that do not recognize the link between disasters and conflict in at-risk countries can worsen tensions and increase risk.


UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) initiated this study with a strong empirical focus on exploring the interface between conflicts and disasters. Disaster-conflict interface contexts are defined as those settings where disasters (risks, events and recovery) have a relationship with conflicts (risks, events and recovery) and/or vice versa, beyond simple geographic/demographic co-location. 


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