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Development gains are easily undermined by rising extremism in fragile contexts. In response, donors are keen to embed elements of CVE, or ‘combatting violent extremism’, in their cooperation programmes. Engaging young people in the projects is crucial, as it is they who are most at risk of recruitment by extremist groups, and they who can build a peaceful future for their countries.
Kristian Schmidt has been working as Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda for almost three years, following many issues including the 2016 elections. In this month’s Views from the Field he discusses the conflict context, and how Uganda has successfully handled an influx of 500,000 refugees from neighbouring countries.
One of the many casualties of crises is education. Natural disasters, wars and protracted conflict are disrupting children’s access to schools and contributing to higher drop-out and lower completion rates. Schools can also be destroyed or taken over by military groups, and prolonged conflicts can leave them without trained teachers, resources or funding. In 2015, 80 million children and young people’s education was affected by humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises. 
Located in Central Africa, Chad is a landlocked country recovering from conflict. While it has stabilised itself in recent years, Chad still faces many challenges, from conflicts in neighbouring countries resulting in increased migration, to the rise in popularity of Boko Haram. Denisa-Elena Ionete joined the EU Delegation to Chad last September, as EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation. In this interview she outlines the EU’s priorities in Chad and the challenges the Delegation faces when implementing them.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 26 February 2016
Coordination between the 28 member states of the EU can take time. But what happens when every hour’s delay costs lives? When it comes to natural and man-made emergencies, the EU response begins before a disaster strikes, coordinated by a 21-strong team at the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) on Rue de la Loi, Brussels.
Over the last three years, Marcus Cornaro worked as Deputy Director General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO). Before taking up his new post as Head of the European Union Delegation to South Africa, he spoke to capacity4dev.eu about his views on development, the problems we’re facing today in the neighbourhood region, the migratory crisis and his hopes for his new post.
“One of the most important messages that I have today is that we need to understand that the life of a conflict is much longer than it seems on the surface. That’s why we have to listen to the first signs. Whether it is a conflict, a disease, or a humanitarian crisis. We pay such a huge price of waiting so long [to act],” said Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
“We are now in the fourth year of the Syria crisis and we can see that there is not only a host community fatigue [in Lebanon], but also a donor’s fatigue,” said Emily Jacquard, Director of Search for Common Ground’s Lebanon country office. “We are facing a decrease of funding. Now more than ever, local and international actors need to come together to share resources, knowledge and cross fertilise.”
As an EU staffer, you have just been selected to go to Afghanistan, CAR, DRC, Georgia, Ukraine, Timor-Leste or Mali… You have your diplomatic passport, you have successfully finished the Hostile Environment Awareness Training and most probably you were briefed by headquarters in Brussels on what to expect and how to behave in your new working environment. Don't forget to pack the EU Staff Handbook for Operating in Situations of Conflict and Fragility (here in French).
The Ebola epidemic has taken many lives, breaking up families and leaving numerous children parentless. But it has also left its mark on the economies of affected countries. In Sierra Leone it has more or less ‘destroyed’ the economy, disrupting all key sectors including agriculture, mining and tourism. Donor support has been too slow to arrive and has not ‘kept pace’ with the disease, according to Alimamy Bangura, Director of the Economic Policy and Research Unit at Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance.

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