An instrument for consolidating peace


The Fragile States Facility (FSF) is an operationally autonomous entity within the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. Its objective is to provide supplemental support so as to more effectively assist states emerging from conflict or crisis.  It seeks to support eligible states in consolidating peace, stabilizing their economies, and laying the foundation for sustainable economic growth.  
The FSF is a special initiative of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Development Fund (ADF). At the operational and financial levels, it is managed by an autonomous trust fund.  The resources allocated under the Facility are grants.  

The guiding principles of the Facility are as follows:

  • Enable the Bank to respond with flexibility and rapidity to the emergency needs of fragile states
  • Enhance Bank support to fragile states, most of which are going through difficult phases of socio-economic recovery
  • Make resources available for a multi-year period to eligible fragile states with a high degree of transparency
  • Established in March 2008, the FSF is governed by two major documents, namely:
  • The AfDB Group Strategy for Enhanced engagement in Fragile States, and
  • The Operational Guidelines (rules and procedures) of the Fragile States Facility.
  • Approval of these documents in 2008 by the AfDB and ADF Board of Directors shows the Bank’s commitment and the growing world consensus on the need to increase aid and its impact on development in fragile states.
  • The Bank Group strategy consists in making a distinction between support provided to post-conflict or transitional countries and ordinary development assistance to other countries.


To operationalize the Facility, the Fragile States Unit (OSFU) was created in July 2008 with the following


  • Provide resources and advisory services to regional and sector departments operating in fragile states  
  • Contribute to the implementation of debt arrears clearance programs
  • Manage the targeted technical support program for capacity building, and facilitate skills transfer
  • Coordinate and align Bank operations in fragile states
  • Facilitate the dissemination of information and knowledge on the Facility and fragile states.

Sectors financed

The Fragile States Facility supports eligible countries through three windows, namely Supplemental Support (Pillar I), Debt Arrears Clearance (Pillar II) and Targeted Support (Pillar III).

  • Supplemental Support

The Supplemental Support Pillar seeks to provide eligible post-conflict or transitional countries with financing in addition to the ADF country allocation. These resources support governance, human and institutional capacity building, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of basic infrastructure.

  • Debt Arrears Clearance

The resources of this pillar contribute to clearing the debt arrears of eligible countries. The support helps to normalize their relations with the ADB Group and give them the possibility of benefitting from debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The budgetary space thus created helps to finance investments in priority sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and agriculture.

  • Targeted Support

Through the Targeted Support Pillar, fragile States receive support in terms of human and institutional capacity building and economic analyses to facilitate the preparation and management of development policies and programs. This support cannot be provided through the traditional instruments and programs of the Bank Group. The Targeted support also offers technical assistance to countries by providing experienced experts and offering support in the form of services.

  • Fragile States

Following a joint evaluation in 2007-2008, the ADB and the World Bank determined which countries are fragile or affected by a conflict. These are countries that have a Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) below or equivalent to 3.2.  In addition, countries emerging from crisis or conflict, or those that have seen the presence on their territory of regional or United Nations peacekeeping operations or mediating operations during the past three years are also considered as fragile states.