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  • Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) is a critical development challenge that threatens efforts to end extreme poverty, affecting both low- and middle-income countries.  By 2030,  up to 2/3 of the world's extreme poor could live in FCV settings. Conflicts also drive 80% of all humanitarian needs.

    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 and conflict.

    Against this background, the COVID-19 pandemic adds even greater stress, threatening to reverse decades of advancements in poverty reduction and development:  

    The World Bank Group (WBG) is focused on addressing FCV, emphasizing prevention and acting early. We’re also remaining engaged during active conflict, and in countries going through transitions to peace. 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 82.4 million forcibly displaced people as of end-2020. 
    • Of those, 86% are hosted in developing countries. 
    • Some 76% of refugees have been displaced for at least five years. 
    • More than two thirds (68%) of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries.

    Last Updated: Jul 01, 2021

  • As an institution born in the aftermath of World War II, reconstruction and development to foster stability is part of the WBG’s core expertise. Responding to an increasingly complex fragility landscape, the WBG is taking a broader approach to FCV that aims to address sources of instability and build resilience. The WBG 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.

    A record-breaking $26 billion in financing for FCV-affected countries approved under the International Development Association’s (IDA) 19th replenishment is getting tailored to meet diverse country challenges in the poorest countries. This includes support to help prevent the escalation of conflicts, remain engaged during crisis and post-crisis situations to preserve human capital and key institutions, and to help create development opportunities for refugees and host communities. This financing expands on IDA’s 18th replenishment, which marked a strategic shift in its commitment to making reducing the risk of fragility and conflict a top development priority by doubling its resources for countries affected by FCV.

    Building on this progress, the WBG has developed a comprehensive strategy to address the drivers of FCV in affected countries and their impact on vulnerable populations, with the ultimate goal of contributing to peace and prosperity. As part of the strategy development process, the Bank Group held global consultations with a range of stakeholders including representatives of government, civil society, development institutions and the private sector.    

    As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) the WBG has taken broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems. Nearly one third of the World Bank’s projects to fight the pandemic are in over 30 countries impacted by fragility, conflict and violence, including $11.6 billion in commitments to fragile and conflict-affected settings under IDA as of late March, 2021.  In countries hosting refugees, WBG support includes them having the same access to vaccines as other populations.

    Our support builds on our analysis and strategy in each county affected by FCV, where we are committed to: 

    • addressing the root causes of fragility before they escalate into conflict; 
    • remaining engaged in crisis situations to preserve human capital and key institutions;
    • strengthening the social contract between citizens and the state;
    • ensuring inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalized. 

    More and better financing is also needed at scale to enhance the Bank’s effectiveness in the most insecure environments.

    To help middle-income countries address the refugee crisis, the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF), administered by the World Bank and established in partnership with the UN and Islamic Development Bank, has so far provided more than $600 million in grants to leverage over  US $4 billion in concessional financing. These grants are benefitting Syrian refugees and their Jordanian and Lebanese host communities, promoting job creation and expanding vital public services and infrastructure, as well as Colombia’s and Ecuador’s response to the needs of Venezuelan nationals who entered the country fleeing an ongoing crisis at home, and of their host communities.

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

    • Risk and Resilience Assessments: serve 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 Assessments: provide 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.

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC) works with the World Bank, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other partners to identify private sector solutions and opportunities for refugees and their host communities. It has four aims: creating jobs by boosting access to finance and entrepreneurship, improving the delivery of basic services like education and energy, encouraging business-friendly policies in refugee-hosting areas, and sharing lessons learned while deepening partnerships.

    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 World Bank and the United Nations 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 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. 

    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 peacebuilding 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. It serves as a catalyst for the delivery of IDA in FCV and fills gaps in conventional financing. It also offers a coordination platform for the international aid community and FCV countries.

    Last Updated: Jul 01, 2021

  • Sharing Knowledge to Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies

     The Fragility Forum 2020, which was postponed due to concerns around COVID-19 and  re-launched as a virtual series held between June and August 2020, brought together more than 1,000 participants from across the development, humanitarian, diplomatic and security communities to share their knowledge under the theme “Partnering for Development and Peace.”

    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 Violent 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

    Horn of Africa: The 2017 Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP), is a US$428 million regional operation in the Horn of Africa covering Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, which seeks to mitigate the social, economic and environmental impacts of protracted refugee presence. It invests in improving access to education, health, water facilities and road access; as well as expanding economic opportunities and enhancing environmental management for communities hosting refugees. Until September 2020,  630 community infrastructure subprojects have been completed, providing improved access to social and economic services and infrastructure for over 2.5 million people and 330,000 days of paid labor for construction work. This has meant that 74,000 people have improved access to energy, 82,000 beneficiaries have reported increased income, and sustainable land management practices have been adopted on 19,000 hectares of land.

    Yemen: The Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project is restoring basic services in some of Yemen’s cities hardest hit by the ongoing conflict. To date, 2.4 million beneficiaries have regained access to critical urban services, 200 kilometers of roads and streets have been rehabilitated, and more than 900,000 people have access to clean water and sanitation while over a million tons of accumulated trash have been safely disposed of. In addition, 47, 000 megawatt hours of clean solar energy have been provided to 86 hospitals and schools.

    Central African Republic: Londo (‘Stand-Up’) Project

    Central African Republic: With about a quarter of its population displaced, the situation in CAR has the potential to destabilize fragile neighboring countries. The Bank’s Londo (“Stand Up”) Project provides temporary employment to vulnerable people through national labor-intensive public works programs –most recently, producing millions of face masks to control the spread of COVID-19. The project has successfully deployed in rebel-controlled areas and set examples in partnering with peacekeeping forces and the humanitarian community.

    Sahel: The Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend project (SWEDD) approved in December 2014 is helping empower adolescent girls, and women, and increase their access to quality education and reproductive, child and maternal health services in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. About 160,000 girls and adolescents have received a scholarship to go to school since 2015 and over 3,400 safe spaces have been established where about 120,000 out-of-school girls are taught life skills, sexual reproductive health knowledge, literacy, and numeracy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus is on helping adolescents return to school and preventing gender-based violence.

    Lebanon: The National Volunteer Service 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 7,000 youths and 150 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 and the Middle East and North Africa Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

    See more World Bank results in situations affected by fragility, conflict and violence.

    Last Updated: Jul 01, 2021



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.


Harmonized List of Fragile Situations

The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Fragile, Conflict and Violence Group annually releases the Harmonized List of Fragile Situations.

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.


Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement

Strengthening research and global knowledge on forced displacement.

World Bank-UNHCR

Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement

The joint data center focuses on the collection, analysis, and dissemination of primary microdata.


Recovery and Peace Building Assessments

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

Additional Resources

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Washington, D.C.
Anugraha Palan
Communications Lead