This paper examines whether humanitarian assistance in war zones can support efforts to promote conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Is this an objective that should be pursued? Can it be operationalised in practice? Does this represent a more intelligent and expansive form of humanitarianism, or is it a dangerous distortion of humanitarian mandates? This paper explores these questions and provides a synthesis of findings from country studies of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Liberia.
The report concludes that humanitarian assistance can complement, though not create, peacebuilding processes, and it provides recommendations for supporting an enabling policy environment for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, increasing the conflict sensitivity of aid donors and enhancing the peacebuilding potential of humanitarian assistance. [Summary Source: International Alert, Eldis]