Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force
The effects of armed conflict and state fragility often spill over international borders, taking on a regional or global dimension, posing a pressing challenge to Canadian security, stability, interests and prosperity at home and abroad. Responding to stabilization and reconstruction needs in fragile and conflict-affected states involves addressing a wide range of issues with a broad assortment of activities and instruments.
The Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) is the Government of Canada’s centre of expertise on fragile and conflict-affected states. START provides rapid, responsive and effective stabilization and reconstruction programming and deployments in crises or fragile situations throughout the world and manages whole-of-government coordination in complex crises, including a response to natural disasters. START works to:
- strengthen institutions and civil society in fragile and conflict-affected states;
- facilitate timely and coordinated responses to international humanitarian crises;
- develop Canadian policies on fragile states and peace operations;
- deliver programs that support stabilization, conflict management, peace building, peacekeeping, and peace operations; and
- deploy Canadian expertise to assist in crisis situations.
Specific activities can include supporting efforts to:
- advocate for and lead initiatives that protect vulnerable populations, including women and children;
- develop policy for global peace operations and humanitarian responses;
- mitigate the effects of explosive remnants of war;
- empower civil society engagement through training and outreach;
- strengthen democratic political processes internationally;
- coordinate Canada's Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security;
- monitor and enable free and fair elections in countries where democracy is at risk; and,
- support security system reform in fragile and conflict-affected states.
START manages the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) to support programming that responds to the needs of emerging international crises and peace and security challenges in a timely, effective and coherent manner. As a means of immediate international assistance, START programming is intended to be for the short-term and catalytic, but it can also complement or be incorporated into longer-term development initiatives.
- About 1.5 billion citizens around the world live in fragile or conflict-affected situations.
- Conflict-affected states lose as much as $39 billion annually in gross domestic product and cost the wider international community as much as $237 billion per year.
- Fragile and conflict-affected countries face particularly severe development challenges, such as weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability and, frequently, continuing violence or the legacy effects of past severe conflict.
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