Two billion people now live in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) and it is estimated that by 2030, almost half of the world’s poor may be living in countries affected by FCV. This is why the World Bank announced its increased engagement, and the record $75 billion IDA 18 contributions from donor countries will make it possible to double the resources for FCV countries. IDA, the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, is a key component in the World Bank’s approach to end extreme poverty. As the focus turns to implementation, the World Bank must ensure that these funds are used effectively, addressing the real drivers of fragility.
The GPSA is playing its part to ensure that citizens’ voice is taken into account in development, even in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. On February 23, the GPSA hosted a high-level roundtable, Engaging Civil Society in Situations of Fragility, Conflict and Violence, featuring Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s newly appointed CEO, World Bank senior management, and members of the GPSA Steering Committee. The roundtable explored the role of civil society engagement – and of social accountability mechanisms – to promote inclusive governance, citizen oversight, and the strengthening of trust between citizens and governments in situations of fragility.
Ede Vasquez, Senior Director for the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, reminded the audience that fragility is no longer merely defined as a list of fragile states, but reflects a continuum that affects a broad range of nations, including middle and high income countries.
During the roundtable, Saroj Kumar Jha, Senior Director of the Bank’s FCV group, announced a new partnership with the GPSA, with the commitment of $1 million, to support fragility resilience and mitigation in Guinea, Nepal, Niger and Tajikistan. This announcement is the latest development in the GPSA’s commitment to fragility, announced at the 2016 Global Partners Forum.
Debbie Wetzel, Senior Director of the Governance Global Practice, emphasized the need for early involvement in FCV, with preventive actions, engaging citizens as part of the solution. This is the primary focus of the GPSA’s interventions, which will be scaled up as the implementation of IDA 18 projects begins.