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Peacebuilding Fund News

Sep
13
2017
Jul
28
2017

By Mavliuda Dzhaparova and Sven G. Simonsen

Ermek Batyrov has taken us to Shark, a village in the district where he serves as head of the Department of Family Support and Children. Leading the way, he eventually stops at a simple, clay-walled house.

We are in Kyrgyzstan’s southern Osh province, and this is the house of Momina Salieva. Her family is formally categorized as one in a difficult life situation.

There are two more such families in Shark village, with four children between them.

Momina is sick today, and we cannot see her, so we talk with some of the other family members instead. Theirs is a gloomy situation. Recently, Momina took over guardianship for five of her grandchildren, after their mother was handed a prison sentence by a local court.

Concern for the children

Ermek Batyrov showing Nazima her birth certificate

     It’s an important day for four year old Nazima:
     Ermek Batyrov has brought her her birth
     certificate – proof that she is a citizen.
     ©UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2016/Vlad Ushakov

Ermek Batyrov is witness to much human suffering in his job. His concern is, most of all, for the children:

‘This work can be very hard emotionally’, he concedes. ‘Sometimes in the evenings I consider writing my letter of resignation and leaving the job. But then, in the morning, I picture the little children who need help, and I understand that I cannot let them down.’

Coming to Momina’s house today, Ermek has good news: he has brought with him a birth certificate for her four-year-old granddaughter Nazima. The girl is too young to get excited about the little red booklet, but it will be important to her nevertheless: the birth certificate is proof she is a citizen. Not having one complicates access to health services, education, and more.

Peacebuilding through social protection

Momina’s family belongs to Kyrgyzstan’s ethnic Uzbek minority, which resides predominantly in the southern Osh and Batken provinces. On the whole, Uzbeks score less well than the majority Kyrgyz population on many social and economic indicators, including participation in local decision-making and access to services.

In 2010, Kyrgyzstan saw a violent conflict between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, with several hundred people killed and some 400,000 displaced. The country has since returned to peace and relative stability. But the peace has yet to be fully consolidated.

Social inequality may be seen as a root cause of conflict in Kyrgyzstan. When the social protection system and local governments fail to timely reach the most vulnerable irrespective of ethnicity or related grounds, it leads to frustration and alienation, and fuels local tension. For this reason, social protection is one of the programmes that the Peacebuilding Fund supports to sustain peace here.

A new way to support families in need

In 2015, the Government of Kyrgyzstan passed Regulation № 391, on the identification and case management for children and families in a difficult life situation. ‘That was the best thing to happen that year’, Batyrov says emphatically. ‘It has made my work easier, because it clarifies what obligations various authorities have towards families and children in a difficult life situation.’

Regulation #391 brings together different ministries, municipalities, primary health services, state registration authorities and other institutions to solve jointly and efficiently questions related to the most vulnerable children and their families.

A critical feature of the Regulation lies in how families who are in a difficult life situation, and thus entitled to social support, are identified. Earlier, identification depended on families themselves presenting their case and applying for support. Now, however, social workers of district departments of the Ministry of labor and social development, and municipalities, have begun to proactively seek out families and children in need.

UNICEF support

‘It can be challenging, making several institutions work together in a synchronized manner and think in terms of outreach’, says UNICEF Social Policy Specialist Gulsana Turusbekova. ‘The social support system has been largely unchanged for the last 20 years.’

The policy changes inherent in Regulation № 391 were advocated for by UNICEF. The Regulation itself is based on a UNICEF-conceived pilot project. When the Government decided to implement it on a national scale, UNICEF provided technical support in the preparation of the Regulation, as well as guidelines for its implementation.

Since the Regulation was passed, UNICEF has provided a tailored training program on its innovations and implementation, funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. Participants are state and municipality officials.

‘These trainings are the most valuable thing UNICEF could give to us, because they enable us to do our work in the best possible way’, says Batyrov, who participated.

On a path to a better life

young woman preparing naan

     One of Momina’s daughters is preparing naan. Conditions are
     simple; this family is officially categorized as one in a difficult
     life situation. ©UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2016/Vlad Ushakov

Momina’s family was found by social workers through proactive identification. They lived below the poverty line; also, none of the family members had official documents. Ermek Batyrov’s team helped them recover birth certificates and internal passports, and also to obtain monthly allowances of 705 som (11 USD) for each of the five children.

There are many families like Momina’s in the district where their village is located: those without documents, without means of support, where migrant workers have left their children in the guardianship of others; with a housebound child with disability.

The social workers’ concern is to find such families, have them registered, assess their needs, provide assistance – and help them onto a path to a better life.

‘These tailored investments in equity help strengthen cohesion in communities and rebuild people’s trust in local authorities’, says UNICEF Specialist Gulsana Turusbekova.

‘Providing disadvantaged children with a fair chance today, we will harvest a more stable, peaceful society in the future.’

Dec
13
2016

New York, 12 December 2016 – The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) Monday announced the winning proposals for its third Gender and the first ever Youth Promotion Initiatives (GPI3/YPI), allocating $12 million to 15 projects in Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

It was the first time the PBF opened the Initiatives to civil society organizations, as a step to implement the mandate from the Sustaining Peace resolutions (S/RES/2282 and A/RES/70/262) to work more closely with civil society partners and support their vital peacebuilding work.

The Fund received 425 concept notes, out of which 26 were chosen to be developed in comprehensive project proposals. In the final round, 15 of those emerged as winners, with $8 million going to gender projects and $4 million going to youth initiatives.

Through the launch of the first call dedicated to the strengthening of youth-inclusive peacebuilding within the UN system after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250, PBF underscored the importance of the positive contribution of youth to peace. PBF contributes with both Initiatives to the strengthening of these often under-recognized areas of peacebuilding.

The following GPI proposals were approved:

Country

Organization

Project Title

Budget

Côte d’Ivoire CARE Supporting Women Enhanced Engagement in Security and Peace
monitoring in the border region of west Cote d’Ivoire (SWEEP Project)

$1,000,000

Côte d’Ivoire ONU Femmes Les femmes et jeunes filles, actrices de la prévention des conflits à travers l’alerte précoce et les réseaux d’informations

$1,000,000

Guatemala UN women 1325: Empowering women survivors of conflict and post-conflict related sexual and gender-based violence in Guatemala

$1,000,000

Guatemala Mercy Corps  the Peace, Opportunities, and Dialogue:
Women Engaged for Results
(PODER)

$1,000,000

Guinea-Bissau Interpeace Vers un nouvel équilibre en Guinée-Bissau : créer l’espace pour une réelle participation de la femme dans le règlement pacifique des conflits et la gouvernance démocratique

$534,184

Kyrgyzstan UNFPA Women and girls as drivers for peace and prevention of radicalisation

$1,000,000

Liberia Educare Strengthening Women’s Rights and Participation in Peacebuilding

$449,888

Mali Interpeace Femmes, Défense et Sécurité : Rôle et participation des Femmes à la Réforme du secteur de la sécurité et au renforcement de la confiance entre populations et Forces de défense et de sécurité au Mali

$675,146

Mali UNWOMEN De victimes à actrices de paix: Renforcement de la participation des femmes dans la mise en oeuvre de l’accord de paix et l’amélioration de la cohesion sociale.

$1,000,000

Sri Lanka HANDICAP Intl Empowering women for an inclusive and sustainable transitional justice and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka

$750,000

The following YPI proposals were approved:

Country

Organization

Project Title

Budget

Guinea PNUD Projet d’autonomisation, de réinsertion sociale et de renforcement de la participation citoyenne de 500 jeunes à la sécurité et à la prévention de la violence

$1,000,000

Kyrgyzstan Search for common ground Youth as Agents of Peace and Stability in Kyrgyzstan

$995,000

Mali ACORD Jeunesse Alafia : Actions des jeunes en faveur de la consolidation de la paix inclusive et de la lutte contre l’extrémisme violent au Mali.

$800,000

Myanmar People in need (PIN) Engaging youth to address communal conflict issues in Myanmar

$880,000

Sri Lanka CPBR Heal the past : Build the future – Role of Young women and visual literacy in promoting reconciliation and justice

$568,988

Aug
10
2016

New York, 10 August 2016 – Marc-André Franche has been appointed as the new Chief of the Financing for Peacebuilding Branch of the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), tasked with overseeing the day-to-day management of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

Franche is currently the Country Director in Pakistan for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He will start at PBSO on 6 September 2016.

“I’m thrilled to be joining UN Peacebuilding and taking on this new challenge,” Franche said. “The role of the Peacebuilding Fund in preventing violent conflict is critical and I look forward to join the Fund at a time when the UN is increasingly focusing on prevention over intervention.”

He joins PBF at an important moment, as the Fund is addressing a budget shortfall with a Pledging Conference on 21 September and UN Peacebuilding has gained new momentum with twin resolutions by the General Assembly and the Security Council, which expanded the notion of peacebuilding to include ‘sustaining peace’ in general and tasked the entire UN system with the implementation of this new focus.

“The selection process was extremely competitive,” said Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support. “I am sure that Marc-André will be a great fit to our PBSO family and lead the PBF and the team to new levels.”

Franche has over 15 years of experience with UNDP in Haiti, the Regional Bureau for Latin America (UNDP-NY), Colombia and Bolivia. He holds dual Canadian and Colombian nationality.

May
10
2016

New York and Addis Ababa, 3 May 2016 – Thirty-two (32) African Union human rights observers will be able to continue their work in Burundi for another six months after the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) transferred $2.26 million to the African Union Commission late last week, the AU and the PBF announced today.

This is the first time the PBF provides direct support to the African Union Commission and it represents a move toward strengthened cooperation between the UN and the AU in peacebuilding, in line with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Security Council last week, calling on the UN to strengthen its cooperation with the AU and other regional organisations.

In this latest round of financing, the PBF also supports the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi with just over $300,000 for training and joint monitoring missions with the AU.

The observers were deployed in response to the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 14 May 2015 and 13 June 2015, expressing its concern with the increased cases of human rights abuses in Burundi. They are tasked with observing, monitoring and documenting human rights violations in the country as well as human rights advocacy with the government.

The observers have been deployed since July 2015 with funding support from the European Union, which is also supporting the AU military experts in Burundi. The PBF funds cover 32 human rights observers’ presence from April to September 2016. Their deployment is the second step in the AU’s planned deployment of 100 human rights observers and 100 military experts.

This support builds on existing PBF financing for human rights in Burundi. Human rights have been one of the key areas of PBF support to Burundi from the initial stages of PBF engagement in 2008. The AU and the PBF welcomed this fruitful cooperation and hope that the presence of the AU human rights observers will help to reduce the violations of human rights in Burundi.

Apr
27
2016

New York, 27 April 2016 – In a rare bicameral event, the General Assembly and the Security Council today adopted substantively identical resolutions on the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, providing renewed momentum for the focus on ‘sustaining peace’ within the UN system.

UN peacebuilding activities directly affect millions of people in dozens of conflict-affected countries, including in the 27 countries where the Peacebuilding Fund sponsors initiatives to strengthen a fragile peace or prevent conflict from breaking out, such as the salary payments of police and gendarmerie in the Central African Republic, the release of more than 700 child soldiers in Myanmar, the construction of cantonment camps for thousands of combatants in northern Mali or the network of women groups mediating in more than 5,000 local conflicts in Burundi.

These are the most comprehensive resolutions on peacebuilding ever adopted by the UN. They define the central concept of ‘sustaining peace’ as both a goal and a process, one which is owned by national stakeholders but which needs sustained international attention and assistance. “Sustaining peace” means that activities are aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, and that they would address the root causes of conflicts.

It also means the UN will look to access all its peace and security, development and human rights engagements more coherently, both at Headquarters and around the world, to reduce the high human cost and suffering brought about by so many simultaneous security and humanitarian crises. Peacekeeping operations and UN country teams will make peacebuilding a more integral part of their work.

Wide-Ranging Refocusing

The new resolutions are part of a wide-ranging refocusing of how the UN system should deal with conflict situations. They adopt a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, encompassing conflict prevention, development, human rights and peacebuilding. Activities addressing all stages of the conflict cycle will involve the whole UN system, such that traditional siloes will be further broken down.  The principal organs and the overall UN system must accordingly work more in this manner.

The resolutions reaffirm the role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in bringing a strategic approach and coherence to peacebuilding efforts. The PBC, a subsidiary body to the General Assembly and the Security Council, provides a platform for a coordinated approach to sustaining peace, involving all actors, including the countries under discussion, regional member states and organizations, international financial institutions and civil society.

The resolutions emphasize that the PBC should work more flexibly and serve a bridging role among the General Assembly, Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. The broad Membership also encourages the PBC, whose members represent a smaller subset of the overall Membership, to focus more on regional developments and consider more cross-cutting issues than it has done to date.  This will make its services both more accessible to countries that are not necessarily on a regular “agenda” and more valuable to the principal organs.

The resolutions call for closer coordination and cooperation between the PBC and the Security Council on peacebuilding issues. They further call for stronger roles for the ECOSOC, the Human Rights Council and the UN development system to sustain peace.

The resolutions offer a range of options to the Secretary-General and the PBC for cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, international financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders. The resolutions particularly request the Secretary-General to explore options for strengthening UN-World Bank collaboration. It stresses the need for cooperation with regional organizations, specifically mentioning the African Union.

The resolutions emphasize the role of women, youth, and the civil society in sustaining peace.

The resolutions underline the importance of predictable and sustained resources to peacebuilding efforts, and the valuable role of the Peacebuilding Fund as a rapid, flexible and catalytic fund.

The next Secretary-General is invited to report back to the 72nd General Assembly session on efforts to implement the stipulations. The resolutions also call on the General Assembly and the Security Council to create new agenda items on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” and organize a high-level follow-up meeting at the 72nd session of the General Assembly.

 

Feb
10
2016

On 25 January 2016, PBSO updated donors on the status of the Peacebuilding Fund. The meeting included highlights from the Secretary-General’s 2015 Report on the Peacebuilding Fund, and engaged in discussion on future programming in the context of constrained finances. Specifically, the Fund cautioned that current demand for 2016, at roughly $104 million, is vastly outpacing available resources and will soon prompt difficult investment choices.  This despite the recent donations of Indonesia, Poland, Estonia, Switzerland, Ireland, Russian Federation, Australia, Japan, Germany, UK and Sweden for a total of $22 million.  Meeting participants noted that the challenging funding situation of the PBF stands in sharp contrast to the wide spread recognition of the Fund as a unique instrument that promotes coherence through fast and flexible support to high-risk peacebuilding interventions.  PBF outlined a series of management steps it is launching to mitigate the financial constraints and announced plans for a pledging conference later in 2016.  For more detail about the meeting, please find the PBSO’s presentation here.

Dec
07
2015

The Advisory Group met for its second meeting of 2015 on 27-28 October. In order to strengthen the partnership between the PBF and the World Bank, the meeting was convened in Washington DC, generously hosted by the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict and Violence group.  Many sessions were co-organized with the Bank. During the two-day meeting, the Group discussed the recommendations of the Report of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, collaboration with the World Bank on analysis and planning in general, focused on experiences in the Central African Republic, learned about PBSO’s thematic review on employment and peacebuilding, and heard a joint presentation on challenges in monitoring and evaluation for peacebuilding. A working lunch, hosted by the World Bank Senior Advisor to the President, Mr Colin Bruce, was organized with select Executive Directors of the World Bank.  The Advisory Group expressed shock and surprise at the failure of Member States to support the Fund to its target, despite the clear and positive recommendations of the Review; called for annual work planning with the World Bank to look at how to better collaborate around the undertaking of fragility assessments, monitoring and evaluation and  planning strategies, including for the Bank’s Turnaround Facility; welcomed PBSO’s organization of a review in the area of employment and peacebuilding, noting the challenges the PBF has faced in this area; and looked towards planning its own field visits in the coming 6 months.

Download documents

Dec
07
2015

Since 30 September, the Fund has made $24.1m in new commitments in Central African Republic, Guinea, Comoros, Madagascar and to a Tajik – Kyrgyz cross border Project. In CAR, Under-Secretary-General Ladsous announced $1m in PBF support for the elections to help build momentum towards an inclusive and peaceful electoral process. The PBF Immediate Response Facility (IRF) has been also used to allocate $3m to support the restoration of state authority and socio-economic revitalisation of communities in the north, center and east of CAR, closely coordinated with other actors’ efforts to provide support outside of Bangui. Thirdly, another $3.5m IRF allocation to CAR aims to support community violence reduction, in particular aimed at communities with populations not eligible for formal DDR. Elsewhere, PBF allocated small but important funding in electoral contexts to increase women and civil society engagement, including in conflict prevention efforts, and to increase security ($0.8m in Guinea and $0.4m in Comoros). In Guinea as well, PBF has funded a second phase of a reconciliation project, being led by Christian and Muslim leaders, which will undertake country-wide consultations in the coming months ($0.8m). In Madagascar, PBSO has allocated $11.5m towards a three year Peacebuilding Priority Plan developed by the national Joint Steering Committee focusing on security sector reform, good governance and a holistic package of support to the south of the country, which has been particularly affected by insecurity, marginalization and other peacebuilding challenges. The Priority Plan development benefitted from a number of inclusive preparatory workshops, including a pre-workshop dedicated to the involvement of civil society. Lastly, within the portfolio in Kyrgyzstan, in early December PBF approved its first ever cross border project, a cooperation and trust building initiative along the tension-filled Kyrgyz/Tajik border.

Looking forward to 2016, a number of activities are under development. These include support to the peace agreement in South Sudan, additional support to expand UN stabilisation work in Somalia beyond Mogadishu, significant work supporting peacebuilding in Sri Lanka in support of the Government’s ambitious plans, possible support to the implementation of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in Myanmar, support for security sector reform in Burkina Faso, possible accompaniment during the UN Mission draw down phase in Haiti, possible financing of some activities related to the Colombian peace process, assistance to Sierra Leone during the next phase of PBC accompaniment, and the launching of a new Gender Promotion Initiative (see below). Other possible ideas include support for dialogue in Libya, conflict prevention work in northern Cameroon and potential renewal of grants in currently supported countries that face continued peacebuilding challenges. Sufficient funding will be required, however, to meet this ambitious pipeline.

For more information on PBF’s recent activities and including a summary of our funding status can be found HERE.

Oct
01
2015

Since the Peacebuilding Fund’s Stakeholders meeting at the end of June, the Fund has made new commitments in Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau, Sri Lanka, Niger and Myanmar amounting to $37.7 million. This programming includes $12 million to help catalyze the DRC’s Trust Fund for stabilization in the east – including $4 million in an innovative matching allocation to spur bilateral contributions. The Immediate Response Facility has been used to support risk management and rule of law programming in Somalia, utilizing the government-led New Deal Compact governance structure to identify priority programmes. In Sri Lanka, the IRF has been used to seize new opportunities to promote national reconciliation, by supporting the resettlement in the north. In Niger, the Fund is being used to help strengthen national institutions to prevent conflict in a volatile region. In Guinea-Bissau, the Fund is supporting the new Government’s priorities to promote dialogue, support security sector reform, strengthen rule of law and promote increased engagement of women and youth. In Myanmar, the Fund will support the second phase of a programme to assist the Government – and ethnic armed groups – address issues of child soldiers.

Despite the positive assessment of the Fund and the calls for its strengthening by the Advisory Group of Experts – as well as by the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations – the status of contributions of the Fund has not improved – rather slightly worsened – since the Stakeholders meeting. For more information click here.

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