Given the estimated USD 3.9 trillion SDG financing gap, how can private financing be leveraged to contribute more systematically to peace and development in emerging markets? How could private sector actors and investors, including Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), structure their investments in a way that promotes peace, instead of causing harm? How can the peacebuilding community interact more meaningfully with the private sector, especially in conflict or post-conflict contexts? These are among the key questions that this policy briefing session will unpack with a range of practitioners and experts, listening particularly to the experiences of those involved with the private sector at the local level. This session will explore the potential of the private sector to make a significant contribution to peace.
The relationship between private sector development and peace is complex. However, public and private investments are essential for development, and private sector actors can address underlying conflict factors, such as limited economic opportunity and social inequalities. The private sector can and must play an important role in fostering economic inclusion, social cohesion and access to public services. This is especially important at the local level, where private sector actors and investment can exacerbate conflict risk and undermine prospects for peace, but done right, it has the potential to empower marginalised communities and regions.
The DFI Fragility Forum and the G7 DFIs’ Africa Resilience Investment Accelerator (ARIA) currently focus on increasing commitment among each institution to invest more and better in conflict settings. At the UN, there is a widening debate on how innovative approaches to peacebuilding financing could be deployed to bolster and enhance the UN’s peacebuilding work. Several UN entities have already begun implementing ‘blended finance’ approaches in conflict-affected settings. There is also a growing set of initiatives to develop vehicles that can practically channel capital with such impact requirements into conflict settings.
This policy briefing aims to contribute to developing a concrete model for the practical implementation of investments that are ‘peace-positive’. The session is therefore directly relevant to practitioners seeking to foster private sector development in peacebuilding settings, as well as for those focusing on how to ensure that investments actually go beyond doing no harm and make a positive contribution to peace.