Fragile states have become a key focus of foreign aid donors. Which one’s the most fragile? That would be Somalia, according to a new report by Canadian researchers.
The study ranks the world’s 197 countries based on their fragility. Joining Somalia on the top 10 are Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Eritrea, Pakistan and Ivory Coast.
Fragile states are increasingly capturing the international community’s attention. The World Bank, for instance, is one of the leading champions of more aid for fragile and conflict states. In its World Development Report 2011, it urged aid groups to help establish justice, law and order in fragile and failed states. The United Kingdom has put fragile states at the center of its revamped aid program and increased its budget for them.
The report, crafted by Carleton University with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, also identifies countries that are in a so-called fragility trap, as well as those on the way to stability and those shifting in and out of it. Countries trapped in fragility include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Angola, Ethiopia and Sudan while among those on their way out of it are Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Cambodia and Guatemala. Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Guinea and Guinea Bissau fall in the third category.
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