Yemen Most Fragile State in 2019
Yemen has claimed the top position in Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index (FSI) for the first time as a result of its civil war and humanitarian catastrophe. Yemen’s top ranking is the result of its rapid worsening over the past decade, with a brutal civil war which has been compounded by regional instability and power plays for which its population are unspeakably suffering. Meanwhile, Finland has claimed the position of least fragile state for the seventh year in a row.
Venezuela and Brazil Most-Worsened in 2019
Two countries tied for most-worsened over the past 12 months. Venezuela has been beset by significant turmoil, and in the wake of a contested and deeply flawed election in 2018, now finds itself with two leaders. This situation has only contributed to escalating violence and instability in the early months of 2019, prompting widespread human flight, a public health catastrophe, economic collapse, and significant criminality. Tying Venezuela for most-worsened country in 2019, Brazil’s internal challenges are growing, with tumultuous politics and a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who came to power through a campaign fueled by harsh right-wing rhetoric. The country’s poor performance is deeply-rooted in a general economic malaise, rampant corruption, and declining public services that have seen Brazil’s FSI score worsen for six straight years.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Fragile States Index, and long-term trends are able to provide some of the most helpful insights into the long-term development of countries. Cuba and Georgia have tied as the most-improved countries in the FSI over the past decade since 2009; meanwhile, Libya, Syria, Mali, Yemen, Venezuela, and Mozambique are the most-worsened countries over the same period.
Mauritius Becomes First African Country to Achieve “Very Stable” Status;
Singapore Becomes First Asian Country to Achieve “Sustainable” Status
In 2019, an African nation has, for the first time, ranked in the “Very Stable” category, with Mauritius ascending to join the likes of the United Kingdom and United States. And by no means is Mauritius alone in the region — both Botswana and the Seychelles now rank in the Stable Category, demonstrating the increasing level of stability in many parts of Africa. Similarly, Singapore has become the first Asian nation to move into the Sustainable category.
FSI 2019 Measures Improvements in Majority of Countries
Despite a focus on state fragility, the FSI has assessed that a vast majority of countries improved in 2019. Certainly, there is still much conflict, poverty, and inequality in the world, which feeds into long term fragility cycles and country vulnerability. But the data of the FSI suggests that the majority of countries are incrementally making improvements, providing a more hopeful future for their people.
ABOUT THE FRAGILE STATES INDEX
Since 2005, the Fragile States Index, developed by Fund for Peace, has measured the social, economic, and political pressures facing 178 countries around the world. Comprised of 12 primary indicators and hundreds of sub-indicators, the Index uses a unique triangulated methodology that integrates content analysis of millions of documents pulled from more than 10,000 sources around the world, with quantitative data-sets and qualitative review. The Index and its indicators are based on a social-science framework that has been used by practitioners in the field of conflict early warning for over two decades. Using the same methodology, the Fund for Peace works with governments, multilateral and regional organizations, and financial institutions to improve conflict early warning, undertake risk analysis and identify entry points for building resilience.
The full data of the FSI, as well as expert analysis on the findings, is available at www.fragilestatesindex.org.
Join Fund for Peace in Geneva on Wednesday, 10 April at 18:15 CET (12:15 U.S. EDT) to discuss the findings of the 15th Fragile States Index, published in conjunction with The New Humanitarian, and its relevance to the humanitarian sector at the Graduate Institute’s Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding. This joint event will feature a briefing on the FSI and its findings for 2019 and a panel discussion on the changing humanitarian focus on fragile states and the role of the media in chronicling the immediate and long-term impact of social, political, and economic pressures on lives and livelihoods around the world. Click Here to register or learn more.
If you are not in Geneva, you can watch a live stream at 18:15 CET / 12:15 U.S. EDT.
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