The latest Fragile States Index (FSI) by the US-based Fund for Peace reveals some interesting –yet unfortunate– facts about world states.
The FSI or fragility index assesses the fragility of countries on a scale of ten (with ten being the worst) based on 12 social, economic and political indicators. For over a decade, it has analysed how wars, peace accords, environmental calamities and political movements have affected stability.
Here are the world’s 10 most fragile states according to the fragility index. It features six African, three Asian and one North American country:
1 Somalia (Africa)
2 South Sudan (Africa)
3 Central African Republic (Africa)
4 Sudan (Africa)
5 Yemen (Asia)
6 Syria (Asia)
7 Chad (Africa)
8 D R Congo (Africa)
9 Afghanistan (Asia)
10 Haiti (North America)
Somalia features at the top of the index; civil war has stoked instability and violence in the country. The east African nation previously topped the list between 2008 and 2013. Somalia scored over nine for every category in the index with “demographic pressures,” “refugees” and “internally displaced persons” as the most pressing problems confronting the country.
South Sudan ranks second on the list. It is grappling with formidable challenges including famine and horrifying ethnic violence and is now on the brink of a civil war. In a report, the United Nations described the situation in the country as “one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world.”
The Central African Republic was also given a “Very High Alert” status and ranked as the third most fragile state. A large number of internally displaced people, violence and high levels of poverty are among the major problems the country faces.
Similarly, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Chad, D R Congo, Afghanistan and Haiti follow in this order. The countries are replete with grave social, political, economic, security and environmental problems that have exacerbated instability.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka is the index’s most improved country, moving up nine spots in the rankings. The improvement can be traced back to the election of President Maithripala Sirisena. He began working towards a new Constitution that would limit the power of the president’s office and put his country on the path towards ethnic reconciliation after decades of civil war. He has also created a special court to prosecute human rights abuses committed during the conflict. The country’s legitimacy score has improved by 0.6 points in the last year. Despite progress, however, Sri Lanka remains in the “High Warning” category.
Unsurprisingly, the countries that scored the best in the index included Finland, Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand. Finland was declared the most stable state and given a designation of “Sustainable” – the only country to fall into this category. The US and the UK both feature in the “Very Stable” category.
This article originally appeared on World Economic Forum.