Peace Direct

Rapid Response Funds in Conflict Areas

In July 2006 the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers turned into a war that killed over 1,000 people, and caused over 1m people to flee their homes. Conflicts often start with a single incident like this. Peace Direct’s Rapid Response Programme, currently operating in Kenya and Nepal, aims to check violent conflict at the earliest stage, by giving skilled local mediators funds to intervene quickly. After the initial intervention they work with the parties to explore the underlying causes of the conflict, and to devise non-violent ways of resolving them.

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It ran from 4:33 PM, 5 December 2008 to 4:33 PM, 5 December 2008

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1123241)


Amount raised





  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



The first Rapid Response Fund was established in Kenya in January 2006. Kenya suffers from periodic flaring up of violence prompted by conflict over resources, political instigation and rivalry. As a result Kenya has the 7th largest population of internally displaced people. A recent report describes the situation of these 338,000 people - 'Forced to leave their original place of living, IDPs often lost all their properties and are obliged to start a new life without perspective of a safe return, resettlement or compensation. If not hosted in isolated camps…IDPs are usually landless and labelled as squatters or slum dwellers. In such living conditions they face difficulty to find a job or a source of income to pay for medicine or school fees. Access to public health facilities is also compromised.’ The Fund has intervened in five different areas of Kenya, protecting a population totalling 2.7m. In each case, skilled Kenyan mediators have travelled to the area of conflict, worked with local leaders to check the cycle of violence, and then created systems for resolving conflict that local leaders can implement without outside help. The second Rapid Response Fund was established in Nepal in March 2007, bringing together three groups working in remote parts of Nepal. In the aftermath of a long running civil war, there are many grievances against both the Maoists and the Government, which if not dealt with can be manipulated by people with a vested interest in conflict. Research shows that there is 50% chance of a relapse into conflict within 5 -10 years, unless peace is built from the ground up. IIn both cases, Peace Direct funds are being used for travel, mobile phone talk time, hospitality and events such as peace feasts that bring people together. Small amounts of money have a big impact – one of our partners in Nepal said ‘£100 from Peace Direct that I can use with my discretion is worth more than £100,000 to deliver a donor programme.’ Peace Direct hopes to work with local partners over the next twelve months to create two new Rapid Response Funds in Afghanistan and the Niger Delta. The total cost of the programme, including external evaluation, is £100,000. Contact details: Carolyn Hayman OBE T: 020 7549 0285 E: