Populations affected by violent conflicts often withstand threats to their security as well as threats to their livelihoods. Their response to the former threats nontrivially affects their response to the latter threats, and vice versa.
This paper examines the interplay between protection and livelihood strategies using a sample of households selected from the Anuradhapura district of Sri Lanka. The fieldwork for this study was completed in 2008, producing evidence that the protection and livelihood strategies employed by households affected by the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka are interlaced.
In addition, the research discovered that Muslim and Sinhalese households largely responded to the protracted conflict in ways that are unique to their ethnic group. Certain vulnerabilities that impinge on protection and certain opportunities that support livelihoods are shown to be ethnicised. Hence, the final livelihood outcome, which is defined narrowly here as the household’s income, also appears to be ethnicised.