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Interventions to support livelihoods in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations (FCAS) are seen by many as subsidiary to the primary (relief-based) imperative to save lives. For others, FCAS interventions remain “stuck” for too long in relief mode, and the potential to get back into support for livelihoods is lost. This paper examines how livelihoods models, initially used in development, not relief, contexts, have been adapted to suit FCAS, and asks what evidence we have on how livelihoods have changed under FCAS and why. It also asks how far efforts to support livelihoods in FCAS have been effective. To provide effective livelihoods support is complex, requiring understanding of how people link into distant opportunities outside the FCAS, how they perceive and respond to risk, and how their livelihoods are affected by power relations, by restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and by reduced capacity to enforce the rule of law in relation to e.g. contracts and the ownership of and access to resources.


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