Weathering the Storm - Why and how development financing actors should stay engaged during political crises

Published 10. May 2024
Drawing on case studies from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Afghanistan, this NRC research examines the humanitarian consequences when development aid is suspended to a country after an unconstitutional change in government (UCG).

With global humanitarian needs high and the humanitarian funding gap growing year after year as more crises become protracted, donors have made clear policy commitments under the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recommendations on the nexus to increasingly invest in development and prevention in fragile and conflict-affected settings. The aim is to reduce humanitarian needs by addressing the root causes of people’s vulnerabilities.

Such settings, however, are often politically unstable and may undergo a UCG. Most donors continue to fund humanitarian action in countries after a UCG, but development funding is often suspended or withdrawn.

This research examines the humanitarian consequences of suspending or withdrawing development aid after a UCG, which often obliges already overstretched humanitarian actors to fill gaps in basic services such as health, education, water and sanitation, putting an additional burden on the underfunded global humanitarian system.

Drawing on the findings from case studies on Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, it also outlines examples of good practice and recommendations for development donors and international financial institutions (IFIs) on how to remain engaged, and additional recommendations for operational actors.