This paper is one of a number of studies prepared for the Chronic Poverty Research Centre. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the literatures on chronic poverty and conflict, map out current policy debates and identify areas for future research.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, over four million people have been killed in internal and regionalised forms of conflict. It is estimated that one third of the world's population is exposed to armed conflict. While violent conflict is not confined to the global South, a disproportionate number of conflicts take place in poor countries. More than half the countries in Africa are affected by armed conflicts. These conflicts are not temporary emergencies but have systemic and enduring features. The chronically poor increasingly live in contexts of chronic insecurity.
In addition to their direct impacts, violent conflicts have major development costs. Development donors have set themselves ambitious global poverty targets but these are unlikely to be achieved in a context of growing insecurity. Violent conflict is therefore not a 'side issue' that can be ignored by developmentalists. It needs to be better understood, accounted for and tackled if development goals are to be achieved. To date however, there has been limited empirical research, which examines the nature of the relationship between poverty and conflict (and virtually no research, which focuses on chronic poverty and conflict).
Violent Conflict, Poverty and Chronic Poverty, CPRC Working Paper No. 6, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-05-2, 49 pp.