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Supporting fragile states

Over recent years, we have increased our focus on the humanitarian and development needs of people in conflict-affected or fragile states where an estimated 1.5 billion people live.

Our country programmes in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the occupied Palestinian territory all have a strong focus on addressing the causes and impacts of conflict, poor or nonexistent government and extreme poverty. We also support the work of our partners in many other fragile states including Somalia and Afghanistan.

Challenges facing people living in fragile states

Fragile states struggle to provide stability or security to their citizens because of weak institutions, poor governance, corruption and inefficient decision making.  These countries have often suffered from prolonged internal conflict, have a poor or non-existent government and are in a state of extreme poverty. Only a few fragile states will reach even one of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The lack of stability and security can increase the likelihood of human rights violations, and women and girls can be particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.

We are helping to strengthen essential state institutions like courts, police and health and education systems.

Our approach

We are helping to strengthen essential state institutions like courts, police and health and education systems. In addition to this essential state-building work, we also engage in support of efforts to build peace and strengthen human rights and democracy. In doing so, we work closely with a range of UN agencies, governments and non-governmental organisations.

Our commitment to delivering better results

In 2011, Ireland signed the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. This agreement between a number of countries and international organisations, lays out key peace-building and state-building goals, focuses on new ways of engaging, and identifies commitments to build mutual trust and achieve better results in fragile states.