Breaking the Cycle: Food Insecurity, Protection and Armed Conflict in Colombia

Conflict. Hunger. Protection risks. In Colombia, these three phenomena have been interconnected in a reinforcing cycle for decades. Efforts to address each component of this negative cycle are vital, but approaches are often disconnected, leading to short-term or incomplete solutions. As a result, communities struggle against growing odds to build resilience or stability.

Using participatory methods, a research team led by CARE, the World Food Programme (WFP), and InterAction interviewed 16 focus groups in 2 departments of Colombia to learn directly from diverse perspectives what threats, vulnerabilities, capacities, and risksi affected people faced. Though the negative cycle effect was widespread, differences between and within communities meant that often people experienced armed conflict, hunger, and protection risks in vastly different ways, indicating that one-size-fits-all solutions won’t be enough to bring lasting positive change.

Despite the differences in personal and communal experience of risk, two categories of variables emerged that defined how individuals were affected by conflict, hunger, and protection risks: context-specific conflict dynamics and institutionalized discrimination. Read More...

Conflict and Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CCVCA) Ségou region, Mali (GENRE+II Project))

The Ségou region of Mali is experiencing a steady increase in impacts from climate change, such as more erratic and reduced rainfall, increased temperatures, intensified seasonal flooding when rains do occur, and increased incidence of human and livestock diseases. These impacts interact with population pressures and natural resource management challenges to affect historical land use practices, such as agriculture and pastoralism, in the semi-urban and rural communes within the cercles of Baraouéli, Bla and Ségou. In these communes, women engage in a range of livelihood and subsistence activities related to natural resources, such as market gardening and forest product harvesting, often significantly augmenting household income. Therefore, it is important to include women in conflict resolution mechanisms over land and water, accounting for a scenario where climate impacts are predicted to intensify.
The Genre++ project, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), works with communities to identify and address interrelated causes and impacts of climate vulnerability, conflict and gender inequality. A novel Climate and Conflict Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (CCVCA) tool was used to carry out a rapid participatory analysis of vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity with representatives from 12 communes in Ségou region (144 female, 156 male) from 9 to 20 March 2023. This report summarises the results of this analysis, discussing how climate change has interacted with other economic and demographic pressures to create tensions around natural resource management. It also details the community members’ current responses, as well as their recommendations for future action. Read More...

Gaza Strip Rapid Gender Analysis: Brief

There is an increasing recognition that conflict is not gender neutral; in fact, protracted conflicts such as in Gaza create a landscape of multidimensional and intersectional vulnerabilities for diverse groups compounding over time (specifically around access to food, mobility, poverty, education, protection and employment) and disproportionately affect women and girls across all categories. The escalation of violence in Gaza and the surrounding region has led to an unfathomable level of death, deprivation and destruction for the most vulnerable populations and further compromises their ability to respond, adapt and build resilience to continued shock. Thus, the humanitarian response must account for these pre-existing vulnerabilities while integrating and adapting to the complexity of this unprecedented crisis through a gender and inclusive programming lens. This Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) aims to highlight existing gender, age and disability data and provide operational recommendations for the humanitarian response in Gaza, while centering ‘Do No Harm’ principles. Given the rapidly evolving context of this crisis, this RGA brief draws from secondary data to inform immediate programming and will be updated as more information becomes available and more in-depth information is needed to support the humanitarian response. Read More...

Gender Analysis in Sudan: Exploring Gender Dimensions of Humanitarian Action and Women’s Voice and Leadership in East Darfur, Gadarif, Kassala, South Darfur, and South Kordofan

CARE Sudan is working to ensure that gender dynamics in Sudan are well understood, and that gender is fully integrated into all programmes and operations. This gender analysis covers each of the sectors to which CARE Sudan responds, highlighting key similarities and differences within the five operational states in which CARE Sudan operates. In all sectors, the analysis assesses differences in barriers and opportunities for different populations, especially women and girls.
Study Findings
Livelihoods. Unlike most of the other sectors of focus in this analysis, livelihoods present the most diverse experiences of women across states, localities, and villages. Generally, however, women the Darfur states experience similar challenges and opportunities, whereas the women in the other three states each have different types of experiences based on the context and norms in these regions. Core challenges experienced by women include the lack of available job opportunities, women’s responsibility over the household which doubles their burdens, lack of ownership and
control over productive assets, and exposure to gender-based violence. These issues are driven by some harmful and unequal official and customary laws, paternalistic gender norms, insecurity and conflict, illiteracy and poor education, and limited education.
Governance and Peacebuilding. Governance systems have been in turmoil since the 2019 Revolution. Despite this period of well-documented crisis at the national level, few issues were described by study respondents at the local level. This indicates a severe separation between national and local issues on the ground. However, women are consistently excluded in all governance and peacebuilding spaces across all states. The most common issues raised included hierarchical traditional mechanisms and powerholders, domination of men over decision-making, deliberate exclusionary practices, and the artificial fulfilment of women’s quota. These issues persist due to women’s illiteracy and poor education, social norms and traditional practices, harmful beliefs about women, low access to information for women, withdrawal of civil society, heavily centralized governance systems, and gaps in gender equality laws.
Gender-Based Violence. The types of GBV identified in Sudan include domestic / family violence (e.g., hard beating, psychological abuse), community social violence (e.g., exclusion, humiliation), harmful traditions and customs (e.g., early marriage, FGM/C), and violence during war (e.g., rape, killing). Women experience several challenges related to GBV – beyond the act of violence itself – such as stigmatization of reporting and the normalization of domestic violence. GBV is so prevalent due to unequal laws the enable it, patriarchal gender norms, economic hardship, insecurity and conflict, and the absence of law enforcement. It is driven internally by the family by the deep need
to protect family honor.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). Issues around water are well-understood and agreed upon by community members, with little differences in opinions be gender. The core issues relate to water include unreliable water accessibility, unequal responsibilities for water fetching and management that fall almost exclusively to women and girls and cause harmful health impacts, and the contamination of water sources. Similarly, related to sanitation, there is inadequate availability of latrines and poor cleanliness and waste accumulation in available latrines. Women specifically face the core hygiene issue of unavailability of dignity kits and no soap for washing. Such issues are primarily caused by poor governance and insufficient budgets alongside decentralized and male dominated water decision-making that does not account for women’s needs and discriminatory social norms and practices.
Health. The main health challenges identified in the states related to pregnancy and reproductive health, with little attention given to infectious or chronic diseases. Core to all health issues is the deficit of available and/or adequate reproductive and general health care centres. Health care may be the only sector in which men and women feel there is more equitable treatment between the genders; in fact, pregnant women tend to get preferential treatment in health centers when they are seen. However, significant issues remain for women including a lack of trained (female) medical staff and unaffordable medications and services. Like other sectors, poor governance and insufficient budget are primary drivers of weak health systems despite the INGO community playing a major role in building and delivering care at health centers. A significant emerging issue in the sector is the increasing mental health needs for women, particularly refugees.
Food Security and Nutrition. Families in all states report insufficient food availability driven by the rapidly collapsing economic situation and price hikes due to inflation. Food scarcity challenges are compounded by the deterioration of the agricultural season as a result of climate change in as most families are constrained to eat just what they can grow or procure very easily and cheaply locally. Even when food is available, it is very limited in variety causing low nutritional intake.
Women experience malnutrition because social norms dictate that they eat last and least even though overcoming food shortages is primarily the burden of women. Read More...

Gender-Sensitive Conflict Analysis in South and East Darfur States, Sudan, 2022

CARE International in Sudan is implementing the project “Enhancing resilience through improved food security, disaster risk reduction and peaceful co-existence in South and East Darfur states, Sudan” (1 September 2021 – 31 August 2025) through funding from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project addresses the specific needs, vulnerabilities, and capacities of women, youth, and persons with disabilities to strengthen their resilience to buffer, adapt, and respond to future shocks at an individual, family, and community levels. This gender sensitive conflict analysis in East and South Darfur – representing eight villages – is to understand the causes, power and gender dynamics, and actors of conflicts in the project area.

The conflict in Darfur is escalating rapidly, with eight times more people killed and displaced in 2021 than in 2020. Inflation rose by 359% in 2021. Climate change—marked by devastating floods and prolonged droughts—combined with food insecurity and a lack of services leaves people feeling violence is their only choice.
A profoundly unequal and harmful set of social norms that do not value women, and even refer to them as vessels of the devil, coupled with laws that do not protect women and their rights, are pushing many burdens of this crisis onto women. A common saying is, “Almara mamlouka ela malak Almout” or “A woman is owned to death.” As the situation gets more extreme and livelihoods and service get scarcer, women are more likely to be working outside the home to help meet family needs. Men have not increased their involvement in household chores and childcare to compensate for these shifts—leaving women with even higher burdens than before. The shifts in women having to work outside the home have not translated into corresponding improvements in women’s rights, engagement in politics, or access to public life.
This research draws from 20 focus groups and 20 Key Informant Interviews that represent the views of 193 people (45% of whom were women) in eight villages in July of 2022. It also looks at 44 secondary sources.


”Life is mentally and physically exhausting. We can no longer go to hospitals because healthcare and medicines are so expensive. My children eat less. They no longer have milk because I had to sell my cows. We eat a lot less and we no longer eat vegetables because they are expensive” --- Woman living in a camp in Northeast Syria ---
* 90% of people live below the poverty line
* 12.4 million people are food insecure
* 50% of water systems DO NOT WORK

Tigray Rapid Gender Analysis

The Tigray conflict that began in November 2020 has culminated in widespread displacement of people, with some villages completely emptied. The conflict has resulted in the death of thousands of people as well as the displacement of over 417,152 people predominantly women and children. 4.5million people in Tigray are in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict has also paralyzed the health system and most infrastructure. All of this comes in a context where Ethiopia is facing over 185,641 COVID-19 cases as of March 20, 2021, decreased food production because of a locust infestation, and a year of school closures due to COVID-19.

This Rapid Gender Analysis draws from focus group discussions and individual and key informant interviews with 94 people (67% of whom are women), secondary data sources, and CARE’s research in the region to understand the specific challenges people of all genders are facing. The RGA was conducted in the Northern Amhara region at sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Debark and MayTsebri (Formerly under Tigray region). Read More...

Addressing GBV & SRHR Challenges in Bama and Dikwa LGAs in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria

Borno state in Northeast Nigeria has been under frequent attacks in the past decade, which has left several million people insecure, homeless, and without any means of livelihood. Hence, the rate of Gender-based Violence (GBV) continues to increase coupled with lack of awareness and basic infrastructure for promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). To alleviate the challenges faced by several inhabitants of these conflict-affected communities, CARE is implementing a SRHR and GBV project to reach 47,000 vulnerable boys, girls, men and women, living in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps and host communities in Bama and Dikwa Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State. This report highlights the current gaps in GBV and SRHR in Bama and Dikwa LGAs to serve as benchmark for measuring progress and guide implementation of the right intervention mix.
In October – November 2019, CARE Nigeria conducted a baseline survey for the project. The study involved administration of Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) questionnaires as well as Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and Key Informant Interviews (KII) covering SRHR and GBV to randomly selected men, women, boys and girls in the project communities. Among the interviewed were; community members, representatives of security agencies, camp coordinator and health facility staffs respectively, in Dikwa and Bama LGAs in Borno State. A total of 79 FGDs and 46 KIIs were conducted, in addition to the quantitative survey involving 3,112 participants. Read More...

Integrated Basic Emergency Assistance to Conflict-Affected and Vulnerable Communities in Yemen Project

CARE Yemen has been implementing an OFDA-supported “Integrated Basic Emergency Assistance to Conflict-Affected and Vulnerable Communities” project in four districts (Sudah, As Sawd, Jabal Yazid, and Maswar) of Arman Governorate; two districts (Ash Shagadirah and Ku’aydinah) of Hajjah Governorate; and three districts (Alrujum, Jabal Mahweet, and Hafash) of Al-Mahweet Governorate Yemen. The goal of the project is to improve the basic living conditions, and facilitate early recovery and resilience of internally displaced persons and host communities affected by conflict in Yemen. This project seeks to meet the critical WASH and basic living needs of the most vulnerable households living in the targeted districts so that lives are saved, suffering is alleviated, and human dignity is maintained. The specific objectives of the project are: reduce morbidity from WASH-related diseases of vulnerable IDPs and host communities; enable the most vulnerable IDPs and host communities to meet their basic and immediate needs, and increase their asset base; and improve the food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable host communities. Read More...

WASH Support to IDPs & host communities in Duhlok and Ninawa, Iraq (2017-2019)

CARE’s GAC funded WASH project started in January 2017 providing critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to improve overall WASH services for women, men, boys and girls and reduce tensions between the host community and IDPs in the areas of 4 IDP camps (Mamrashan, Essyan, Sheikhan, and Chamishko), and host community collectives (Ardawan, Ba’adre, Kalakchi, Mahate and Ayas) of Duhok Governorate. The project also had an emergency response component in November 2017 in three neighbourhoods of West Mosul (Al-Mansour, Al-Jawsaq and Wadi Al-Hajar). The project is implemented through two local partners Harikar and REACH. Working through partners is a key modality of CARE’s country strategy to strengthen the capacity of local NGOs. This approach has had a significant impact in achieving the GAC aim of supporting vulnerable and conflict-affected people living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The ongoing WASH intervention aims to provide 55,572 (27,318 women & 28,434 men)2 IDPs and members of host communities with access to water supply, safe sanitary facilities and increased awareness on safe hygiene practices in a dignified, gender-sensitive and culturally appropriate manner.
The midterm project evaluation aims to assess the relevance, performance, and progress on targets within the project. It looks at signs of potential impact of project activities on men, women, girls and boys identified as vulnerable and the sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development. The evaluation also identifies, and documents lessons learnt and makes recommendations for CARE Iraq and project partners to improve the implementation of the final year of the GAC project as well and strengthen the design of future related projects. Read More...

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