Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

Conflict not only takes human lives, destroys communities and erodes development gains, but also leaves a legacy of fear, hostility, and trauma. Without effective, inclusive peace and reconciliation processes, countries are likely to revert back to violence.

Understanding the underlying conflict dynamics in fragile states is necessary to support effective peacebuilding. 

Through cutting edge research, training and field support, USAID analyzes conflict dynamics and invests in peacebuilding and reconciliation to build stability and public security in conflict-affected areas.

USAID seeks to strengthen moderate voices and rebuild ties between divided communities.  For example:

  • USAID supports peacebuilding through “people-to-people” reconciliation programs and activities which bring together individuals of different ethnic, religious or political backgrounds from areas of civil conflict and war. These programs provide opportunities for adversaries to address issues, reconcile differences, promote greater understanding and mutual trust and work on common goals with regard to potential, ongoing, or recent conflict.
  • USAID trains development professionals in the skills necessary to integrate a peacebuilding approach into conflict-affected environments.  Due to the unique nature of every conflict, reconciliation programs must be contextually designed based on the country’s circumstances. 
  • USAID aims to mainstream conflict sensitive programming into our development assistance portfolio across sectors, including economic growth, democracy and governance, education, and health. Activities are designed to maximize impact on development assistance, and leverage field mission investments.

To date, USAID has:

  • Supported over 135 peacebuilding projects in 35 countries.
  • Awarded over $115 million in grants for “people-to-people” reconciliation programs and activities.

USAID works with local partners and field missions to address the legacy of violence through activities such as support to local and regional peace processes, restorative justice programs, ethnic dialogue, inter-faith peace building, inclusive and legitimate governance structures and grassroots reconciliation.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: September 13, 2012

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