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Bank Engagement with Fragile States

Addressing fragility is a high priority for the Bank Group. Twenty African states are considered fragile. They are home to more than 200 million people, approximately 20 per cent of the continent’s population. In 2008, the AfDB scaled up its support to fragile states with a strategy for enhanced engagement in fragile states [link] and a dedicated Fragile States Facility [link]. The Facility enables the Bank to respond to the needs of fragile states in a flexible and rapid manner by leveraging Bank-wide resources. Its three-pronged approach provides supplemental support, arrears clearance, and technical assistance and capacity building.

Africa has enjoyed positive growth in the last few years, but the risk of a downturn remains ever present due to fragility and conflict. Nurturing future growth is imperative. The Bank has gained invaluable experience in the last decade, proving itself both a preferred and first financing partner for fragile states in Africa. In reviewing the Bank’s Fragile States Strategy, the High Level Panel along with the Bank Group are working to make its approach more effective and efficient in addressing the diverse development challenges in fragile states. 

“Financing targeted at their unique condition is not simply important, it could go a long way in deciding success or failure. This is especially true when, in the first years after war, there are rising expectations among the people. They want to reap the peace dividends. They want to see tangible benefits of an elected government and the new peace.” H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. President of Liberia and Chair of the High Level Panel on Fragile States

Recommendations from the panel’s final report will (i) inform the Bank’s ADF 13 Replenishment, attracting additional resources for Fragile States; (ii) provide reflections on a revised strategy for Bank Group engagement in fragile states, guiding operational effectiveness and resource allocation; and (iii) feed into the Bank Group’s Long-Term Strategy (2013–2022) for inclusive and sustainable growth on the African continent.