• Helping Countries Navigate a Volatile Environment

    Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) is a critical development challenge that threatens efforts to end extreme poverty, affecting both low- and middle-income countries. The share of the extreme poor living in conflict-affected situations is expected to rise to nearly 50% by 2030. Conflicts also drive 80% of all humanitarian needs, while they reduce gross domestic product (GDP) growth by two percentage points per year, on average.

    Violent conflict has spiked dramatically since 2010, and the fragility landscape is becoming more complex. Climate change, rising inequality, demographic change, new technologies, illicit financial flows and other global trends may also create fragility risks. Both low- and middle-income countries are affected by fragility risks, some far away from where the problems start. The Bank is focused on addressing FCV, emphasizing prevention and acting early. We’re also remaining engaged during active conflict, and in countries going through transitions. Stronger collaboration with humanitarian, development, peace and security partners is critical for delivery in challenging environments, such as in the Bank’s response to famine.

    Forced displacement is a developing world crisis, which must be addressed with collective action. There were 65 million refugees and internally displaced as of end-2015, with 95% living in developing countries and over half displaced for more than four years. At its root are the same 10 conflicts which have accounted for the majority of the forcibly displaced every year since 1991, consistently hosted by about 15 countries – also overwhelmingly in the developing world.


    The Challenge of Fragility, Conflict and Violence

    • Two billion people live in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence.
    • By 2030, the share of global poor living in fragile and conflict-affected situations is projected to reach nearly 50%.
    • Conflicts drive 80% of all humanitarian needs.
    • Forced displacement is a development world crisis: 95% of refugees and internally-displaced live in developing countries, originating from the same 10 conflicts since 1991, consistently hosted by about 15 countries – also overwhelmingly in the developing world.

    lastupdated: Oct 25, 2018

  • As an institution born in the aftermath of World War II, reconstruction and development to foster stability is part of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) core expertise. Responding to an increasingly complex fragility landscape, the Bank is taking a broader approach to FCV that aims to address sources of instability and build resilience. The new approach emphasizes prevention and acting early. Gender is an important focus of prevention, and empowering women economically helps build peace. The Bank will also remain engaged during active conflict, and through countries in recovery and transition. Stronger collaboration with humanitarian-development-peace partners is critical to success.

    The record $75 billion commitment under the International Development Association’s (IDA) 18th replenishment marks a strategic shift, making reducing the risk of fragility and conflict a top development priority. This will enable the Bank to double resources for countries affected by FCV to more than $14 billion. New financing mechanisms include $2 billion to support refugees and host communities, $2.5 billion to spur private enterprise, as well as support for countries to mitigate the risk of falling into fragility.   

    More and better financing is needed at scale to enhance the Bank’s effectiveness in the most insecure environments. For middle-income countries, the Global Concessional Financing Facility seeks to raise $1 billion in grants for Jordan and Lebanon over the next five years, and an additional $500 million in grants to help other middle-income countries address refugee crises. The Global Crisis Response Platform will coordinate early action and develop further the Bank’s financing instruments for crisis response and recovery.

    To deliver, the Bank is deepening its knowledge and expanding its ‘toolkit’ for FCV. This includes:

    • Risk and Resilience Assessments: serves as the basis for country engagements and informs the preparation of the Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCD) and Country Partnership Frameworks (CPF). It also aims to address significant risks and shocks of different kinds.
    • Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessmentsprovides a platform to help governments and their international partners identify, prioritize and sequence recovery and peacebuilding activities and coordinate support for planning and implementation.
    • Joint UN-World Bank Study, Pathways for Peace:  Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict: aims to improve understanding of how development processes interact with security, diplomatic, and other approaches to prevent conflict from becoming violent, published in March 2018.
    • Forcibly Displaced flagship study: examines available data to better understand the scope of the challenge, and suggests a development approach that supports both refugees and host communities with long-term solutions.


    Strengthening Partnerships to Build Resilience

    Building on growing recognition that humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding efforts are complementary and need to reinforce each other to respond to FCV challenges, the Bank and the United Nations have launched the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Initiative (HDPI) to work together in new ways across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in countries affected by FCV. Under the HDPI, the UN and Bank will identify collective outcomes and deliver comprehensive and integrated responses to countries at risk-, in protracted crisis and post-crisis situations. This includes sharing data, joint analysis and assessment of needs, as well as aligned multi-year planning across peace, humanitarian and development operations, which are critical to enable collaboration in these countries. In 2017 work began in about seven countries in 2017, including Cameroon, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Northeast Nigeria.

    The State and Peacebuilding Fund, established in 2008, is the WBG’s largest, global multi-donor trust fund established to finance innovative approaches to state and peace-building in regions affected by FCV. It is flexible in terms of geographic areas, implementation models, and thematic coverage, and has the capacity to take risks and mobilize financing rapidly across all income country groups. If is expected to serve as a catalyst for the delivery of IDA18 in FCV and fill gaps in conventional financing. It also offers a coordination platform for the international aid community and FCV countries.

    lastupdated: Apr 02, 2018

  • Sharing Knowledge to Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies

    The Global Fragility Forum, held in March 2018, brought together more than 1000 participants from across the development, humanitarian, diplomatic and security communities to share their knowledge under the theme, “Managing Risks for Peace and Stability

    With the aim to improve the way in which domestic development processes interact with security, diplomacy, mediation, and other efforts to prevent conflicts from becoming violent, the Bank produced Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Conflict.  The report stresses the importance of grievances related to exclusion—from access to power, natural resources, security and justice, for example—that are at the root of many violent conflicts today.

    With forced displacement a continuing issue, in 2017 the Bank launched the report, Forcibly Displaced – Toward a development approach supporting refugees, the internally displaced, and their hosts.


    Highlights from the World Bank Group’s Operational Work


    This project supports a long-term development response to systemic and structural constraints faced by underserved refugee-hosting areas in Ethiopia, Uganda and Djibouti, further exacerbated by the presence of refugees. It seeks to address forced displacement impacts as a development challenge, as well as a humanitarian and security issue – covering social, economic, and environmental needs in host communities through interlinked technical and investment support. It also aims to help the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) with policy dialogue and engagement, research, capacity support, knowledge management, and partnerships for innovative responses to displacement and mixed migration in the Horn of Africa.


    In the last two decades, Iraq has witnessed a dramatic fall in almost all human development indicators, and civil war and insurgency have further undermined service delivery. This USD 350 million project will promote inclusive recovery and reconstruction in the conflict-affected areas through reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and the restoration of public services delivery.


    With about a quarter of its population displaced, the situation in CAR has the potential to destabilize fragile neighboring countries. The Bank’s stabilization project will provide temporary employment to vulnerable people through national labor-intensive public works programs. The project has successfully deployed in rebel-controlled areas and set examples in partnering with peacekeeping forces and the humanitarian community.


    Pastoralism is key to the economies in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa (HoA). These countries have recently experienced mounting levels of instability and insecurity, threatening the livelihoods of the local farmers and ranchers. In the northern parts of the Sahel and the Sahara, there is a marked increase in all types of trafficking, kidnapping and stealing of cattle and goods. This project will support activities to understand what impact pastoral interventions can have on reducing conflict; support programs to monitor conflicts and provide regional conflict warning systems.


    This program seeks to increase social cohesion and employability among Lebanese youth aged 15-24 through the delivery of soft skills training and the promotion of civic engagement for improved social service delivery. To date, more than 6,000 youths and 120 different municipalities, NGOs, schools, and universities have been directly involved in the project’s activities. This project is supported by the

    State and Peacebuilding Fund as well as the MENA MDFT and the World Bank’s Leadership Learning and Innovation Vice-Presidency.


    In Iraq, the number one concern for many people is a lack of electricity. Power stations and transmission lines are in dire need of upgrade, and demand has spiked in areas affected by the region’s migrant crisis. Low oil prices are straining public finances and the security situation makes investors loath to put their money in Iraq, even for short periods. 

    IFC and Lebanon’s Bank Audi are jolting Iraq’s power infrastructure back into shape by investing $375 million investment in Iraqi company, Mass Global Energy Sulimaniya. The financing will enable the company to build a new power station near Baghdad, and expand an existing power plant in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The region has experienced a recent influx of more than 1 million Iraqis fleeing violence from the Islamic State, as well as 250,000 Syrian refugees. Blackouts and “load shedding” occur daily across the country. Expanding electricity capacity and repairing transmission lines will go a long way to meet Iraq’s critical development needs after decades of war and under-investment.

    Over the past three years, IFC has invested and offered advisory services worth $2.5 billion in fragile and conflict-affected countries across the world. 

    For activities by the IFC, the WBG’s private sector arm, visit: Creating Opportunity in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries


    lastupdated: Apr 02, 2018



Focus Area

Forced Displacement

Under its mandate to reduce poverty, the WBG is concerned about the welfare of the displaced as well as their host communities.

Financing for Peace

State and Peacebuilding Fund

The SPF is the WBG's largest, global multi-donor trust fund established to finance innovative approaches to state and peacebuilding.


Recovery and Peace Building Assessments

The RPBA is a partnership framework to coordinate reengagement in countries or regions emerging from conflict or political crisis.


The Humanitarian-Development Peace Initiative

The HDPI is a joint UN-WBG effort to work together in new ways in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence.

Additional Resources