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ABCs of IDA - Fragile and Conflict-Affected States (FCS)

While millions are stepping out of poverty in developing countries, some 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest people live in countries where conflict and fragility have trapped them in a cycle of poverty and violence.

But the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, is making a difference. IDA supports fragile and conflict-affected states by providing interest-free financing and the knowledge needed to rebuild institutions and economies, and by putting in place the building blocks people need to resume peaceful and productive lives.

Since 2000, IDA has provided more than $28.5 billion in support for fragile and conflict-affected states—among other things, helping immunize 10 million children and providing prenatal care to 1.5 million women. 14 FCS countries had received $4.4 billion in debt relief from IDA by 2012, which helped lower their debt service payments by about $1.8 billion.

Exiting fragility is possible, but it requires the creation of well-functioning institutions. IDA’s flexible, predictable, and country-based model is particularly effective. IDA doesn’t pull out when the cameras leave, and IDA is a critical piece of the larger development equation, serving as a platform for donor coordination (including the implementation of multi-donor trust funds), and promoting transparency and accountability of both donors and states.

Despite overwhelming challenges, there has been important progress: 20 fragile and conflict-affected states have recently met one or more targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and an additional 6 countries are on track to meet individual MDG targets ahead of the 2015 deadline.

As the examples on the following pages illustrate, IDA-financed operations in fragile and conflict-affected states are making a difference. Be sure to see our other “ABCs” of IDA, including an overarching ABCs fact sheet, as well as highlights of our work in Africa, and on gender and institutional strengthening at


  • 2.7 million girls were enrolled in school in 2012, up from 191,000 in 2002; nearly 140,000 teachers have been trained, of which 39,000 are women.
  • 22 million people in rural areas benefited from improved infrastructure—such as access to water, electricity, and roads—between 2003 and 2010.


  • 2.3 million people gained access to basic social and economic services between 2004 and 2009 with newly built or rehabilitated infrastructure in 18 provinces.
  • 105,000 former soldiers were demobilized and reintegrated into civilian life between 2003 and 2008; more than 260 subprojects were implemented with community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 96 percent of children received measles immunizations in 2007, up from 52 percent in 1995.
  • 100 percent of people living in 20 municipalities had 24-hour access to a water supply in 2011, compared with 75 percent in 2004.


  • 40,000 households—representing 216,000 people—resumed agricultural production in 2011, after two decades of conflict; and by the end of 2012, nearly 7,000 combatants had been demobilized.
  • More than 25,000 people received antiretroviral therapy in 2011, up from 11,000 in 2007; during the same period, HIV prevalence dropped from 3 percent in 2007 to 1.4 percent in 2011.

Central African Republic

  • 119,000 people were tested for HIV during 2000–12, including more than 10,000 pregnant women, 2,000 teachers, and nearly 7,000 military personnel and their families.
  • 1,600 adults and 95 children received antiretroviral treatment by 2012.

IDA Results on the Ground

Congo, Democratic Republic of

  • 80 percent of demobilized combatants had received integration assistance as of 2011.
  • 75 percent of male and 69 percent of female ex-combatants were engaged in productive economic activities, or schooling, in their communities as of 2011.

Côte d’Ivoire

  • 18,000 ex-combatants, other armed individuals, and youth at risk were reintegrated into society during 2008–12.
  • 4.2 million people in urban areas were provided with access to clean water between 2008 and 2012.

Debt relief

  • 14 FCS countries had received $4.4 billion in debt relief from IDA by 2012, which helped lower their debt service payments by about $1.8 billion.


  • IDA is one of the largest funders of educational programs in fragile and conflict-affected states.
  • The greatest progress has been on gender parity in education—the ratio of girls’ to boys’ enrollment in school. Countries such as Kiribati, Micronesia, Myanmar, and Tuvalu have met the target; and those on track include Burundi, Chad, Republic of Congo, Timor-Leste, Nepal, and the Republic of Yemen.


  • More than 923,000 children benefited from school feeding programs; 293,000 pregnant and lactating women received nutritional supplements and education; 696,000 children received nutritional interventions; 1.7 million people were employed through cash- or food-for-work programs; and 8.5 million farm households received seeds and fertilizers —all from 2008 to 2012, particularly in FCS.


  • More than 200 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated during 2011.


  • 39,465 people in rural communities have benefited from six new water supply systems since 2011.
  • 76 civil protection committees, representing 1.3 million people, have strengthened disaster preparedness and response capacity.


  • 123 million people received access to an improved water source from 2002 to 2012, and more than 7 million people obtained better sanitation facilities during the same period—many in FCS.


  • More than 17 million days of employment were created by IDA-financed infrastructure projects in fragile and conflict-affected states from 2000 to 2010.


  • 75 percent increase in the number of new businesses from 2008 to 2009.
  • 14,000 tons of hazardous substances were treated and neutralized, 30,000 hectares of ash covered, and 100,000 trees planted from 2009 to 2012.


  • A fourfold increase in the number of audits, from 4 in 2009 to 16 in 2011, including for the major spending ministries, occurred as part of the public sector reform process; an additional 10 special—including forensic—audits were also completed.
  • A 19 percent variance between approved and actual budgets in 2007 was cut almost in half (to less than 10 percent) in 2010.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • In 2013, IDA support helped clear Myanmar’s arrears as it reengages with the World Bank Group.


  • The number of women dying in childbirth has been cut in half; and 44 percent of women have access to skilled prenatal care.
  • 95 percent net primary school enrollment with gender parity was achieved, and immunization coverage rose from 43 percent in 1996 to 87 percent in 2011.


  • 550,000 ex-combatants in eight post-conflict countries have been demobilized and reintegrated into the economy and society, as of 2012.

Pacific States

  • The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Facility has been set up to provide disaster risk assessment tools and practical technical and financial applications to reduce and mitigate countries’ vulnerability to natural disasters.


  • IDA is a global leader in transparency and undergoes the toughest independent evaluations of any international organization.


  • 116,000 kilometers of roads were built or fixed from 2002 to 2012.

Sierra Leone

  • 700,000 people gained access to health facilities between 2004 and 2009.
  • 400,000 children gained access to educational facilities between 2004 and 2009.

Solomon Islands

  • 287,000 work-days were created during 2010–12; more than 4,500 people—57 percent women and 50 percent young people—were trained and employed.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 83 percent of children completed primary school in 2012, up from 73 percent in 2009.
  • Close to 100 percent gender parity was achieved in primary school in 2012.


  • 300,000 people have benefited from basic infrastructure improvements through community programs since 2008.


  • IDA’s country-driven and non-earmarked approach provides a unique platform that allows the flexibility to meet the demands, opportunities, and risks that face its diverse client base.


  • IDA provides value for money. IDA uses a results-based management framework to allocate resources, does not charge donors an administrative fee, and is a world leader on openness and accountability.


  • Six fragile and conflict-affected states, including Afghanistan, Comoros, Myanmar, Nepal, and Tuvalu, have already met the MDG target on improved access to water.

Extreme Poverty

  • Eight fragile and conflict-affected states, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guinea, Nepal, and Timor-Leste, have already met the goal to halve extreme poverty—people living on less than $1.25 a day, according to Bank analysis.

Yemen, Republic of

  • 87 percent of children were enrolled in primary school in 2008–09, up from from 68 percent in 1998–99; for girls, the primary enrollment rate rose to 78 percent in 2008–09 up from 49 percent in 1998–99.
  • 39,000 girls attended school in the 2010–11 school year as a result of conditional cash transfers introduced in 2008 and 2009.

Zero tolerance

  • Zero tolerance for corruption in Bank projects and activities.

IDA Results on the Ground

The International Development Association

The International Development Association (IDA) is a game-changer in the field of development, paving the way for others in the most difficult and complex situations to help hundreds of millions of people escape the cycle of abject poverty.

IDA provides leadership on global challenges. From its support for climate resilience to the creation of jobs to get combatants back into society, IDA rallies others on tough issues for the common good and helps make the world more secure.
  • IDA is transformational. IDA helps countries develop solutions that have literally reshaped the development landscape— from its history-changing agriculture solutions for millions of South Asians who faced starvation in the 1970s to its pioneering work in the areas of debt relief and the phase-out of leaded gasoline.
  • IDA is there for the long haul. IDA stays in a country after the cameras leave, emphasizing long-term growth and capability to make sure results are sustained.
  • When the poorest are ignored because they’re not profitable, IDA delivers. IDA provides dignity and quality of life, bringing clean water, electricity, and toilets to hundreds of millions of poor people.
  • IDA makes the world a better place for girls and women. IDA works to reverse millennia of gender discrimination by getting girls to school, helping women access financing to start small businesses, and ultimately helping to improve the economic prospects of families and communities.
  • Working with the World Bank Group, IDA brings an integrated approach to development. IDA helps create environments where change can flourish and where the private sector can jump-start investment.