Fragility and Development

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Poverty is increasingly concentrated in fragile states, where governments often lack legitimacy or authority and struggle to deliver basic services. These countries face higher risks of shocks from violence, pandemic threats, climate change, and other natural disasters, all with limited capacity to cope with them. The international community has a mixed track record of assistance to fragile states, leading donors and international organizations to rethink their engagement—focusing renewed attention on the underlying causes of fragility, while working to tackle core development goals, build peace and stability, and navigate complex risks. CGD’s work examines US and multilateral development policy toward fragile states, analyzing opportunities for reform. CGD experts also examine international engagement with—and financial flows to—select individual fragile states.