World Bank President Jim Yong Kim believes that although the challenge of aiding countries in Fragile and Conflict Affected Situations (FCS) is great, he is optimistic.
More than 1.5 billion, or a quarter of the world’s population, live in FCS. It is projected that by 2015 half of the world’s extreme poor will reside in these fragile countries. As of now, one-third of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, one-third of people without access to clean water, one-third of children without primary education, and half of all children mortalities take place in FCS countries. The Millennium Development Goal to decrease poverty and hunger by half cannot be achieved without putting these fragile countries at the forefront of our efforts.
World Bank President Kim lays down five steps to help FCS countries:
1. Understanding the drivers of fragility and conflict.
There will be no blanket solution in dealing with the problems in these fragile countries with conflicts driven by varying social, political, and economic concerns. The objective is to “connect the dots.” Kim points to the Global Center on Conflict, Security and Development – a community of experts sharing research and strategies to better assist people living in FCS.
2. Delivering faster, more flexible and timely assistance
These situations, Kim states, must be answered with a greater sense of urgency. Organizations such as the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) work towards delivering aid that is speedy and high-quality. The idea is to place “a premium on speed, and cut red tape.”
3. Quick wins
Though long term solutions still remain the focus, delivering quick results helps win public trust in building institutions.
4. Jobs to help break the cycle of poverty and violence
A lack of jobs results in a vicious cycle of poverty and violence. Kim states that there are indeed people living in FCS that would turn away from violence and look to job training to earn a living. For job creation to occur, a strong, dynamic private sector is needed.
5. Coordinated development assistance
Kim emphasizes the need for collaboration among countries to create inclusive coalitions for change and a combined effort.
In addressing the challenge of helping people in FCS situations, we need a collaborative, well thought out effort that will take into consideration the needs and concerns of the people. As Kim says, “We need to transform the way we all engage with fragile and conflict affected states.”
– Rafael Panlilio
Source: Huffington Post, World Bank, World Bank