By Olisemeka Obeche
Panelists and participants who brainstormed on the challenges facing fragile and conflict states on the sidelines of the 2013 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group reached an important conclusion: better coordinated efforts and commitment are required to salvage economies of conflict-affected states across the world.
Amongst the factors identified by key experts as major obstacles to exiting fragility during the hour-long discussion are poor funding, absences of well-coordinated efforts and continuity as well as weak capacity by conflict of the governments.
Helping conflict and fragile states recover in time remains an important goal global economic development actors must cue into, says Mark Bowman, Director General, Humanitarian, Security, Conflict and International Finance of UK’s Department for International Development.
According to him, it is absolutely necessary that international development partners and national government work collaboratively to achieve greater results.
Dr. Kristalina Georgieva, European Union’s Commissioner responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response calls for greater emphasis on policies and programmes that prevent conflict rather than those that dissipate energy on providing humanitarian supports.
Aid money is important, she stressed, but global development actors must start working towards prevention by supporting countries to withstand situations that lead to crisis rather than rushing to raise money to help.
She argues further: ‘Even in the tough economic times we find ourselves in today, the worst humanitarian crisis this century compels us to go the extra mile and find a way to keep giving. But it’s not just about raising money”.
Other panelists also call for new strategies that could help affected countries build capacities, rally its macro-economic components as well as address problems of jobs.