Guiding principles
Eligibility Criteria
Multi-Donor Trust Fund
Regional Strategy


The MDRP supports three broad areas of activities: (i) National Programs; (ii) Special Projects; and (iii) Regional Activities.

National Programs
Peace and cease-fire agreements often contain clauses calling for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants - regular and/or irregular forces, as the case may be. In supporting the preparation of national Demobilization and Reintegration (D&R) programs, the MDRP aims to help operationalize this aspect of peace agreements and thus contribute to the stabilization of the region. National programs are prepared and overseen by the National/Governmental agencies with the support of the MDRP partnership and in collaboration with a wide range of implementing agencies.

The following five components generally feature in the design of D&R program:

  • Demobilization;
  • Reinsertion;
  • Reintegration;
  • Support to special groups;
  • Implementation arrangements.

While the mandate of the MDRP does not include disarmament—a critical step that needs to take place in advance of D&R activities in order for them to be effective—it works with partner organizations to help coordinate the implementation of this aspect and ensure cohesiveness with other parts of the process.

The actual composition of national programs is determined by the nature of the conflict, how it was resolved, the socioeconomic profile of ex-combatants and the environment in which the program is to be implemented. HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation measures are included during both the demobilization and the reintegration phase. For more information, see the Guidelines for National Programs 31.4 KB.

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Special Projects
The MDRP provides assistance for D&R activities in the absence of a fully formulated national program, with the understanding that these activities will be integrated into the national program once it has been prepared and launched. The MDRP also facilitates provision of assistance in areas not controlled by national authorities. Assistance under the Special Projects window can include:

  • support to special target groups: child soldiers, repatriation of ex-combatants to their country of origin or resettlement in a third countries, females associated with armed groups, etc.
  • activities carried out in parts of a participating country outside the control of the relevant government.

These activities are designed and implemented according to local needs yet in consultation with the national authorities. UN agencies and NGOs able to operate in areas beyond state control are encouraged to develop and execute relevant activities within the framework of the MDRP. These activities are financed through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). For more detailed information, see the Special Projects Guidelines 297 KB and the Special Projects Evaluation Cycle 29 KB.

In both cases, the guiding principles for national programs apply, to the extent possible, in order to retain consistency, build confidence, and ensure transparency. However, these activities often require greater flexibility in design and implementation. A focus on reintegration aspects, as well as on information and communication, may also be required.

Activities in areas outside government control may be required in some instances. This case applies in particular to the eastern DRC. In line with the Lusaka agreement, emergency community-based reintegration activities may be necessary for groups that are not signatories of the Agreement. The demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers in these areas is also a priority. However, it is essential that these efforts do not negatively impact on the Inter-Congolese Dialogue process.

Ex-combatants settling in third countries. The MDRP can support the settlement in other African countries of ex-combatants who do not return to their countries of origin but are not wanted by any international court or tribunal. Countries for settlement would be identified in consultation with interested governments and regional bodies—for example, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). The resettlement may be undertaken by specialized agencies, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Relevant national and international authorities would be involved in screening these ex-combatants to prevent perpetrators of war crimes from benefiting.

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Regional Activities
By its very nature, the MDRP, and the conflict in general, is faced with issues that cannot be approached solely through country-specific efforts. Regional activities are thus essential in helping to move the region closer to peace. These include:

  • Regional technical knowledge sharing, capacity building and joint analysis among participating national programs through semi-annual meetings of the regional Technical Coordination Group;
  • Harmonization of databases for national programs and special projects to avoid the risk of ex-combatants crossing borders to benefit from other D&R operations. This would include harmonization with MONUC's DDRRR database;
  • Cross-border information and sensitization campaigns to appraise combatant groups of the options being developed under the MDRP and associated national programs and special projects that are relevant to them;
  • Timely and action-oriented knowledge generation and research to deepen the understanding of cross-border and cross-sectoral D&R issues (for instance, access to land, gender dimensions, mutual impact of MDRP and national programs and special projects).

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For any questions regarding MDRP activities please email: [email protected]
Photo Credits: First picture on left Guy Tillim. Others by UN/DPI