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World Bank Analysis Shows Fragile States Meeting MDGs

World Bank2 May 2013: A new analysis by the World Bank Group shows that 20 fragile and conflict-affected countries have met one or more targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the past two years, since their analysis in 2011. The countries are meeting or are on track to meet goals to reduce extreme poverty, reach gender equality in primary education, improve access to water, and reduce maternal mortality. According to the Bank, this progress is due to better monitoring and accelerated development. 

The 20 fragile and conflict-affected countries or territorial entities now meeting one or more targets are: Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Libya, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, and West Bank and Gaza.

Despite this progress, the World Bank's analysis states that the majority of MDGs will not be met in fragile countries by 2015, and warns of a reverse in these gains if conflicts relapse.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President, said in a statement that "these signs of progress do signal that development can and is being achieved, even amid fragility and violence," and emphasized the need for critical support to people living in fragile countries. The World Bank's work in fragile in conflict-affected states is supported by the International Development Association (IDA), its Fund for the poorest. According to the press release, the Bank's ongoing reform measures include strengthening its focus on the causes of conflict and fragility, and new policies to provide more flexible, faster support. [World Bank Press Release, 1 May] [World Bank Press Release, 2 May] [Publication: Stop Conflict, Reduce Fragility and End Poverty: Doing Things Differently in Fragile and Conflict-affected Situations]