As challenges multiply and resources are limited, we have been working on a comprehensive approach to crisis and conflicts, to better articulate the humanitarian, development and peace interventions – the so-called triple nexus. By preserving the roles of each service involved and ensuring a do no harm and conflict sensitive approach, as well as full respect for the humanitarian principles.

Triple nexus... Connecting the dots

In 2019, the OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) adopted Recommendations on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus. The European Commission Communication on the EU’s humanitarian action: new challenges, same principles of March 2021 highlights the nexus approach and proposes a list of concrete actions in this area, to address root causes of fragility and conflict and eventually reduce humanitarian need.

Building on the pilot process agreed upon by Council in 2017 in six countries (Chad, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda), the EU has made substantial progress to move from the pilot phase to a systematic and tailor-made implementation of the triple nexus in conflict and fragile situations. This approach is key for having more strategic and effective EU interventions in a variety of countries around the world, namely Burkina Faso, CAR, Mozambique, Somalia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Burundi, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The Multiannual Financial Framework process has provided a strong momentum to the nexus implementation. The implementation of the triple nexus is strongly embedded in the new ‘Global Europe’ Instrument as an important approach for ‘strengthening the resilience of states, societies, communities and individuals and to linking humanitarian aid and development action and, where relevant, peacebuilding.'

The implementation of the nexus is a complex and challenging process, involving a very close coordination and important changes in our way of working. With the entry into force of the NDICI-Global Instrument we have a set of new and innovative tools, notably:

  • Conflict analysis: The new instrument introduces the requirement to conduct a conflict analysis when drawing up the programming documents for countries and regions in crisis, or post-crisis, and for fragile and vulnerable situations. 
  • Joint programming: with the NDICI-Global Europe, Joint Programming becomes the preferred approach for country programming, including in fragile settings. In line with the Team Europe approach open to humanitarian and political actors, Joint Programming and Joint Implementation can therefore become an engine for the triple nexus.
  • The Rapid Response Pillar (RRP) is another important tool to bridge the gap between development, humanitarian and peacebuilding actions in contexts when timely reaction is needed.

Working in partnership is key for putting in practice the triple nexus. This applies not only to the EU services, but also to Member states and other actors, notably the UN system, World Bank and other bilateral donors. The Member states have been strong supporters of the triple nexus and have regularly included this topic on the Council agenda. Recently, the ‘Team Europe approach’ has provided increased opportunities for joint initiatives in partner countries to operationalise the nexus. The nexus is also regularly addressed in the EU dialogue with other actors outside the EU, notably international organisations, bilateral donors, the private sector, CSOs and partner countries authorities.