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$20m Grant Aims to Combine Local Voices and Global Expertise to Reduce Human Suffering

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The International Crisis Group is thrilled to announce a $20 million grant from Open Society Foundations (OSF) that will support our conflict prevention mandate. This new funding will allow Crisis Group to help meet the growing demand for pragmatic recommendations and local insights into both regional and global issues fuelling violence, like climate injustice and economic inequality. Crisis Group is the go-to organisation for ideas on how to prevent or end deadly conflicts. It is a trusted source of analysis and actionable solutions for policymakers at the highest levels – from the UN Security Council to the African Union – looking to avert human catastrophe and build sustainable peace.

The nature of war has changed in the 27 years since Crisis Group was founded to serve as the world’s impartial eyes and ears in conflict zones. Renewed rivalry among major powers and an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape are straining the mechanisms of multilateral diplomacy. Climate change is increasing food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition, while disrupting livelihoods and exacerbating inequality and injustice. Technological change is transforming the shape of conflict, from the use of social media to foment unrest to the deployment of new weapons for waging war and suppressing dissent.

“We are grateful for this momentous and transformative grant that will enable us to develop cutting-edge efforts to tackle enduring and emerging conflict risks and reduce human suffering”, said Dr Comfort Ero, President & CEO of Crisis Group. “In a world where impunity for mass killing runs rampant, where militancy too often expands unchecked, where a record number of people are starving, displaced or silenced, in large part due to war, and where the threat of a nuclear confrontation is brought back by Russia's invasion of Ukraine*, I want to amplify our voice and magnify our impact as advocates for humanity”.*

With this grant, Crisis Group will launch an Innovation Hub within its Future of Conflict Program to house post-doctoral fellows specialising in emerging risks, initially drawing in expertise on remote warfare, food insecurity and pandemics. The Hub will help us anticipate threats that will arise in the near future​​, as well as generate new funding ideas particularly aimed at attracting big bets and increased philanthropic support for innovative work across the organisation.

Thanks to OSF’s commitment, Crisis Group will also expand its network of local advocacy staff in conflict-affected countries, who regularly engage with all sides of conflict, particularly in the Global South. We will focus on identifying the specific policy changes we want to see regarding particular conflicts, and on using our advocacy and communications tools strategically to effect those changes. Building partnerships with sister organisations, where advisable, will also be vital to our efforts to change policy.

The growing threat to peace and security calls for urgent and robust action. Our investment will position Crisis Group to have an even greater impact”, said Alex Soros, Deputy Chair of OSF. “For more than a quarter of a century, Crisis Group has been at the forefront of so many efforts to prevent war and shape peace. Time and again, Crisis Group has helped end or mitigate the impact of deadly conflict, coming up with innovative ideas to stop fighting and persuade policymakers to take action to save lives”.

OSF President Mark Malloch-Brown added, “From the moment it was founded, I knew Crisis Group would have a vital role to play in the world. But sadly, its mission today is even more critical than at any other point in its history. This is truly an age of crisis – from the pandemic, to the economic crisis, to catastrophic global climate change and increasing global conflicts, as norms of international behaviour are eroded – or even discarded in the case of Putin’s brutal, systems-breaking war on Ukraine. Crisis Group’s experience and expertise, its ability to talk to all parties and its on-the-ground presence in conflict-affected countries has never mattered more than now”.