By 2030, an estimated 80% of the world’s poor will live in fragile states – countries that lack the ability and resources to effectively govern their own territory. State fragility often leads to greater poverty, food insecurity, and lack of economic opportunity and can multiply the risks of global threats like violent extremism, pandemics and infectious disease, and conflict. Fragile states are also often the arena for great power competition from countries like Russia and China.
For every $1 the United States spends to prevent conflict, it is estimated that we save $16 in response costs. The U.S. was the largest donor to fragile states in 2016, and more than 78% of American foreign assistance in the most fragile states is spent on development or humanitarian programs, more than half of which addresses global health and hunger.