Nearly a quarter of the world's population — and more than three-quarters of those in extreme poverty — lived in countries and regions classified as “fragile” in 2020. Experts expect those numbers will grow, due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crises, the proliferation of militant extremist groups and growing geopolitical competition. The defining attributes of a fragile state include an inability to control its territory, govern effectively and deliver public services, usually because of violence, corruption or political oppression. Unstable governments can fuel refugee migrations, violence and corruption that spill over into other countries. Although the developing world made much economic progress in the post-Cold War period, violent conflict has escalated dramatically over the last decade and shows no signs of declining. ...

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