Since 2000, the International Development Association (IDA) of the Bank has provided over US$5.9 billion in post-conflict reconstruction assistance to fragile and conflict-affected countries. The World Bank's assistance approach for fragility and conflict-affected countries has shifted from a focus on rebuilding infrastructure to a comprehensive approach and broader agenda.
In the past decade, the almost continuous economic growth in developing countries has raised more people out of poverty than at any previous time. But this success has contrasted with the intractable poverty of a core group of fragile and conflicted-affected countries. For these countries, achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals is a distant goal.
Fragility and conflict affect a sizable number of countries: as of 2011, 33 countries fall in the fragile situations category as per the World Bank definition. 30 are IDA-eligible and 1 is a middle-income country. In addition, conflict and fragility also occurs at the subnational level within some strongly performing countries. Fragile countries pose the most difficult development challenges: their weak institutions and high risks of conflict constrain efforts to reduce poverty, limit service delivery to their populations, and create potential negative spillovers for neighboring countries. While fragile states are home to only 19 percent of the population of IDA-eligible countries, they account for over one third of the extreme poor.