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| Information Zone|
|Picking up the pieces|
Peacebuilding is a word that describes all actions, that promote peace and justice.
It includes things like conflict resolution, relief and development work, peace
education, demilitarisation and urging governments to take peace and justice
building decisions. Peacebuilding is a complex process.
Communities and countries impacted by conflict and war use their own resources
to minimise the effect. Often though, the scale of the disruption and the impacts
of the war mean local people exhaust their resources and need outside help.
This outside help usually comes from three sources - overseas governments, international
agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
governments - This is called 'bilateral aid' because there are two parties
- the government giving the aid and the government receiving it. Bilateral aid
is usually for big projects like large shipments of food, or money for rebuilding
roads or schools. Some governments also send weapons or troops to help one side
in a war overcome their enemy. After the war peacekeepers may arrive to help
keep the peace and restore order. Often the assistance is given with 'strings
attached' meaning that the giver benefits in some way as a result of helping.
International agencies - This is called 'multilateral
aid' because these agencies represent several countries. The biggest multilateral
agency is the United Nations (UN). Within the UN there are several organisations
which help people affected by war - for example, the United Nations High Commission
for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World
Food Programme (WFP). These agencies use money from their member governments
to support emergency relief, peacekeeping troops and other large projects.
organisations - This group is commonly known as NGOs and unlike the other
two types of helping organisations, governments do not run them. NGOs are private
charities who raise most of their funds from ordinary people who have heard
about the needs of others and want to do something to help. Some examples are
World Vision, OXFAM, Save the Children, CCF, TEAR fund and the Red Cross. The
NGO's use these funds for smaller, grass-roots projects working directly with
the people in need. For example while governments and multilateral organisations
fund and send large shipments of food, NGOs employ experienced people to distribute
the food to those most in need.