War, Conflict and Fragile States in Asia and the Pacific

Many of the poor in Asia and the Pacific live in countries beset by political instability, weak governance, economic insecurity, and vulnerability to natural disasters. These complex development challenges hamper efforts to reduce poverty in the region. Here are 12 things to know about countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

  1. One in four people in the world, more than 1.5 billion, live in fragile and conflict-affected areas. By 2015, half of the world's people living on less than $1.25 a day will be in fragile states.
    Source: World Bank report World Development Report 2011; OECD report Fragile States 2013: Resource Flows and Trends in a Shifting World
  1. More conflicts are seen in Asia than elsewhere and their frequency has not declined. While devastating for individual countries or areas, these conflicts have not yet derailed economic development in Asia as a whole, but they remain a threat to growth and stability.
    Source: ADB publication Working Differently In Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: The ADB Experience
  1. Fragility remains one of the biggest obstacles to peacebuilding and poverty reduction, making this a primary development challenge and priority for the international development community.
    Source: ADB publication Working Differently In Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: The ADB Experience; OECD report Fragile States 2013: Resource Flows and Trends in a Shifting World
  1. Low-income fragile and conflict-affected countries are off-track in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
    Source: World Development Report 2011; OECD report Fragile States 2013: Resource Flows and Trends in a Shifting World
  1. Women and girls in fragile states fare notably worse than their counterparts in non-fragile countries on many human development indicators.
    Source: ADB document Operational Plan for Enhancing ADB’s Effectiveness in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations; OECD report Fragile States 2013: Resource Flows and Trends in a Shifting World 
  1. The small and geographically isolated island countries in the Pacific are especially vulnerable to internal and external shocks because of weaknesses in public governance, underdeveloped domestic markets, limited economic opportunities, and effects of climate change, including rising sea levels.
    Source: ADB publication Working Differently In Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: The ADB Experience
  1. ADB has classified more than a third of its poorest members as countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS) in 2012. Nine of these 10 countries are in the Pacific.
    Source: ‎ADB Fragile Situations Resource Center
  1. A country's transition from a state of fragility to one of resilience involves a long process that may take 20 to 40 years. Country leadership, participation, and ownership in implementing reforms are crucial.
    Source: New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States
  1. In 2011, more than 40 countries and organizations, including ADB, endorsed the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea. The New Deal is anchored on peacebuilding and statebuilding and supports country-led development plans.
    Source: New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States
  1. ADB has historically been an important development partner for FCAS countries. It has provided substantial and timely assistance, taking into account the local context in its development approach, targeting key areas needing attention, working with partners, and providing increased presence on the ground.
    Source: ADB document Operational Plan for Enhancing ADB’s Effectiveness in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations; Independent Evaluation report Asian Development Bank's Support to Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations
  1. Overall ADB assistance (combined loans, grants and technical assistance) to FCAS countries amounted to $2.54 billion during 2007-2011.
    Source: ADB document Operational Plan for Enhancing ADB’s Effectiveness in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations
  1. ADB also continues to apply its approach flexibly in countries that may not currently be classified as FCAS, but exhibit elements of fragility.
    Source: ADB report ADF XI Donors' Report: Empowering Asia's Most Vulnerable

For more information, visit ADB Fragile Situations Resource Center.