Disasters and Conflict

An estimated 80% of humanitarian response takes place against a backdrop of conflict.

World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2016 report, UNOCHA

In many cases, the conflict itself is the source of the humanitarian crisis. The impacts of other disasters (e.g. natural) can also create conflict as affected populations compete to gain access to the resources they need to recover. In combination, conflict and natural disasters can increase the needs created by each other.


Tearfund’s approach to disasters in conflict contexts is to:

  • Respond to the emergency needs created by the disaster;
  • Support the recovery of affected populations from the impact of the disaster, and increase their resilience to future disasters, conflict or crises; 
  • Address the root causes of conflict through peacebuilding, breaking cycles of trauma and violence, equipping local people in conflict resolution, and address harmful structures of governance that increase tensions and drive conflict.

When responding in any way to crises or disasters in any conflict context, it is important that a project must “Do No Harm”. Conflict Sensitivity involves understanding the conflict context we are working in, and how to ensure we minimise negative impacts on the conflict, and identify opportunities to maximise positive impact. You will find a range of Conflict Sensitivity tools in the section below.


Peace building work in Darfur (PDF 2.5 MB)
A case study that shows how Tearfund’s peace-building work supports activities and processes that enable communities to come together through common goals and improve peaceful co-existence, trust and confidence towards early recovery. 

Tearfund Conflict Analysis and Conflict Sensitivity Tools

Rapid Conflict Analysis
Also available in French
Community Gender Analysis Workshop Guide
Should I do a Conflict Sensitivity Assessment?
Tearfund Conflict Sensitivity Assessment
Country Level Conflict Sensitivity Checklist
Project Level Conflict Sensitivity Checklist

Tearfund WASH service delivery in South Sudan: contributions to peace-building and state-building
This report written in 2012 by ODI and financed by DFID was a one-year research project to review the impact of Tearfund WASH service delivery in South Sudan on peacebuilding and state building.

Footsteps 92 front coverFootsteps 92: Conflict and Peace 
Footsteps is our online and print magazine for grassroots health and development workers. This issue contains tools for analysing conflict contexts, and case studies of projects addressing conflict in disaster contexts.

disasters and Conflict - Useful websites

In this document (PDF 80 KB) you will find a list of resources published by other agencies that will provide more learning and tools on working in a disaster and conflict context.