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States of Fragility 2016

Understanding Violence

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The world is getting more violent, and violence is occurring in surprising places. Over the past 15 years, 3.34 billion people, or almost half of the world’s population, have been affected by violence. The number of violent conflicts is decreasing, but conflicts are killing more people: conflict-related deaths have tripled since 2003. Violent extremism and terrorism are also on the rise. The economic cost of violence is rising too: the global economic impact of violence is a staggering USD 13.6 trillion, equivalent to 13.3% of Global GDP. And civilians, especially children and women, are most at risk.

States of Fragility 2016: Understanding Violence takes a long hard look at violence in the world – and what we should do about it. The report showcases emerging thinking about violence, presents a new risk-based approach to monitoring various dimensions of fragility, and looks at financial flows in support of fragile contexts. Understanding Violence finds that development, peace and security efforts in the developing world have not kept pace with the new reality of violence. We need to dedicate more resources and attention to violence. And to be effective, we need to put people – especially youth – at the centre of our efforts.

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Overview: Violence, fragility and finance

This chapter begins with an overview of the main trends and findings around violence – its scope, impact and cost. This is followed by a review of the OECD fragility framework, and its five dimensions of fragility, accompanied by an analysis of what the 56 countries deemed fragile under the framework tell us about fragility in the world today. The chapter continues with a review of the different financial flows – foreign investment, official development assistance (ODA) and remittances – to fragile contexts, casting a spotlight on how ODA is used to address fragility and violence, and how ODA relates to the different dimensions of fragility. The conclusion looks at opportunities for more effective programming, including recommendations in the area of policy, programming and financing.

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