Posts

Refugee familyThe World Bank predicts that by 2030,  up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor could live in fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) affected areas. Global poverty rates are escalating at a shocking rate, especially in countries experiencing FCV. World Bank estimates show that an additional 18 to 27 million people would be pushed into poverty in 2020 in countries affected by FCV. The world’s most vulnerable and impoverished countries experience the interconnected issues of FCV.

Fragility

The International Development Association (IDA) reports that ½ of the world’s poor live in “fragile, conflict-affected states.” The World Bank defines fragile states as those meeting three different criteria: unstable institutional and political settings, the introduction of peacekeeping forces, international acknowledgment of instability and at least 2,000 per 100,000 migrants moving across borders. These criteria illuminate a political security crisis and forecast conflict.

Conflict

Along with fragility, conflict is a significant predictor of poverty and instability. The World Bank states that conflict accounts for “80% of all humanitarian needs.” Conflict also greatly contributes to the refugee crisis, inflating the number of displaced people around the world. FCV-afflicted countries account for 82% of forcibly displaced people. The addition of refugees limits the development of the host country even further and exacerbates issues of economic equality.

Conflict-affected states are home to half of the global poor. Conflict is identified by the World Bank as, “countries having 10 per 100,000 of their population experiencing conflict related deaths.” Countries on this list include Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and South Sudan. Unsurprisingly, these countries are also among the top 5 contributors to the world’s refugee crisis.

Violence

In the last ten years, there has been a noticeable spike in intrastate violence. Poverty levels in countries with protracted conflict have increased, along with the levels of both internal and external displacement. Factors of political instability, intrastate conflict and corruption contribute to a cycle of poverty. Violent settings are likely to have high numbers of refugees fleeing those areas. The Global Citizen wrote, “By the end of 2019, 79.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.”

Resulting from the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, Syria is the world’s largest contributor to the global refugee crisis. Many flee country borders and are unable to attain asylum. Rather than return to a homeland of FCV, refugees remain in camps with limited access to work, education and commodities.

The Good News

In an effort to advocate and assist those most affected by FCV, the IDA has provided consistent and significant aid to the world’s poorest countries predisposed to experiencing poverty. One example of an IDA success story is Afghanistan. The IDA has endorsed 45,751 democratic community development councils throughout Afghanistan and has provided laborers 66 million days of work. The organization also helps provide vaccinations and central infrastructure to areas in need. With the help from other NGOs and nonprofit organizations, The World Bank is attacking these issues head-on through means of prevention, engagement, assistance and litigation to ensure further development in countries most affected by fragility, conflict and violence.

 

– Allyson Reeder
Photo: Flickr

Fragility, Conflict and ViolenceFragility, conflict and violence (FCV) is among the largest threats to development, continuously putting both low-income and middle-income countries in danger of inescapable poverty. Addressing FCV is a top priority for the World Bank specifically, as the organization considers it an essential problem to solve in order to both end extreme poverty and promote collective prosperity. Alongside other global organizations working towards peace, the World Bank looks to address FCV in the hopes of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 for peace, justice and strong institutions.

Understanding Through Numbers

The World Bank estimates that as many as two-thirds of those in extreme poverty could live in FCV environments by the year 2030. Even today, conflict accounts for almost 80% of the world’s humanitarian needs and conflict is estimated to worsen gross domestic product (GDP) growth by two percentage points annually. Sadly, the number of people living close to conflict, which includes those within 60 kilometers of at least 25 conflict-related deaths, has more than doubled since 2007.

As of 2019, almost 80 million people were forcibly displaced as a result of FCV settings. Of that 79.5 million, four out of five of those displaced have been in those conditions for at least five years. And, startlingly, more than two-thirds of all refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. Today, all five of these countries face significant fragility, conflict and violence, sparking refugee crises and general instability.

What is Being Done

The World Bank has developed a Fragility, Conflict and Violence Strategy in its IDA19 Special Theme documents. The proposed four pillars in the strategy involve: “pivoting to prevention, remaining engaged in conflict, escaping the fragility trap and mitigating FCV externalities.” Given that the World Bank has tried to reduce FCV conditions in the past, this newly developed strategy is focusing on improving the organization’s response to mitigating risks and is focusing on partnering with a more diverse group of stakeholders.

So far, the World Bank has found mixed success in its efforts to reduce fragility, conflict and violence. In Cameroon, the World Bank shaped the policy of the government to better protect refugees, using its reputation and finances to leverage a stronger policy. In Lebanon, its cash transfer program focused on host communities, making the program more inclusive to even the communities that feel excluded by humanitarian organizations providing aid to refugees. However, while the emergency cash transfer program implemented in Yemen was successful in that it helped millions buy food, the approach was unorganized and many humanitarian efforts overlapped, resulting in duplication and inefficiency.

In today’s world, fragility, conflict and violence stand as one of the largest threats to global peace and stability, for not just low-income countries but middle-income countries as well. The efforts on behalf of the World Bank prove not only that this is an urgent humanitarian issue, but if solved well, these efforts can work to end extreme global poverty.

Olivia Fish
Photo: Wikimedia Commons