Addressing the Challenge of Fragile States
Conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction are critical to the World Bank's mission of poverty reduction. Many of the world's poorest countries are locked in a tragic vicious circle where poverty causes conflict and conflict causes poverty. Eighty percent of the world's 20 poorest countries have suffered a major war in the past 15 years. On average, countries coming out of war face a 44 percent chance of relapsing in the first five years of peace. Even with rapid progress after peace, it can take a generation or more just to return to pre-war living standards.
How to deal with states coming out of conflict or seeking to avoid the breakdown of the state is a burning question. Conflicts not only lead to extraordinary suffering for the people involved but the spillover effects drag down their neighbors as well. The World Bank Group is working with other partners including trust funds and the United Nations to offer more responsive, flexible and comprehensive solutions in difficult environments.
Capacity development is fundamental to the broader objective of transforming fragile states into stable nations. A growing body of research on these issues is emerging, pointing to the lessons that have been learned in recent years. In general, these lessons are outlined in a series of papers and documents produced by the Bank, bilateral donors such as DFID and a working group at the level of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.
| ||Addressing incentives and institutions in order to strengthen governance.|
| ||Being selective by maintaining a focus on the state's primary functions.|
| ||Adopting an incremental approach to build, sustain, and retain capacity over the long-term.|
| ||Defining the role of non-state actors in building capacity, especially the private sector, NGOs, and regional organizations.|
| ||Identifying post-conflict, resource-poor, or policy-poor states that possess uniquely complicated characteristics and may require a customized approach.|
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