Our world. Views from the field: The impact of armed conflict - Summary report: Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and The Philippines (2009)

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Civilians are the losers in any armed conflict. Physical danger not withstanding, insecurity and violence causes displacement of populations and the breakdown of socioeconomic networks. It also has several impacts on assets and livelihoods and adversely effects the provision of, and access to, education and health services. Such is conflicts’ core effect on civilian well-being that it is (finally) starting to be recognised as a central component of development policy and practice.

To highlight the impact of conflict this document surveys peoples’ experiences in eight of the most insecure environments – Afghanistan; Colombia; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Georgia; Haiti; Lebanon; Liberia and The Philippines. The authors assert that their aim was to develop a better understanding of people’s needs and expectations, to gather views and opinions, and to give a voice to those who have been adversely affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.

This comprehensive survey offers an insight into a wide range of realities/issues for conflict-affected peoples, for instance:
  • many people (28%) say that close family members have been killed by the fighting, including 69% in Liberia, a quarter of those in Lebanon (26%) and the DRC (25%);
  • 56% of all surveyed have/had suffered displacement – although higher in Lebanon (61%); Afghanistan (76%) and Liberia (90%);
  • 19% have known someone to fall victim to sexual violence, including 44% in Haiti and 28% in the DRC; 17% have been tortured, including 43% in Afghanistan; 10% have been imprisoned and 10% kidnapped / taken hostage;
  • many have lost their means of income due to armed conflict including over half in Afghanistan (60%) and Lebanon (51%) and two fifths in Haiti (40%);
  • what do people fear the most in armed conflicts? Three top issues emerge: losing a loved one, mentioned by an average of 38%; economic hardship (31%); and displacement / becoming a refugee (24%);
  • people are clear about what direct involvement they think that the international community should take. In particular, they would like the international community to: provide peacekeepers, cited by 42% across the eight countries; give emergency aid (42%) and intervene militarily to stop the conflict (29%).
Language: English
Imprint: International Committee of the Red Cross: http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/views-from-field-report-240609. Eldis: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/conflict-and-security&amp;id=44153&amp;type=Document<br /> </span> 2009
Series: Report,