Over the past decade, the mandate of aid has been extended significantly. The end of the Cold War brought about far-reaching political changes that culminated in a great rise in civil wars, especially in Africa and the former Soviet Union, as well as a willingness by the international community to promote democratic and peaceful change in those same regions. Thirty years of exploitation, poverty, dictatorship and mismanagement, however – usually with active backing from the same international community, in the name of Cold War politics – has left many places characterised by deep social divisions and weak governance. As a result, humanitarian assistance and development aid have been confronted with a long extension of their mandates, and this under increasingly difficult conditions.

The Influence of Aid in Situations of Violent Conflict (OECD)