Combating poverty, containing fragility and strengthening resilience

Two children on a cotton transport truck
Cotton production is an important sector of Kyrgyzstan’s economy and one of its key value chains. © SDC

Conflict, violence and human rights violations: these are among the main challenges to combating poverty and fragility in the wider sense. The fragility of a state is characterised by the government’s inability to ensure the security of the population and provide basic public services, alongside its failure to establish mutually constructive relations with the country’s citizens.

More than 40 countries around the globe, home to some 1.5 billion people, are affected by fragile situations or exposed to violence or conflict. By 2030, more than 80% of the world’s poorest could be living in fragile contexts unless more concerted action is taken now.

Fragility poses a major threat to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Addressing fragility will require greater acceptance of all its nuances by tailoring differentiated approaches to specific contexts and working across the full spectrum of issues, some of which are inherently difficult and sensitive.

Engagement in fragile contexts

Switzerland is stepping up its efforts to prevent and manage the consequences of crises, disasters and fragility. It intends to allocate 50% of its bilateral aid to conflict-affected or fragile contexts.

The SDC’s engagement in fragile contexts

Switzerland is committed to promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies. It works directly to ensure that no one is left behind.

Characteristics of fragile contexts

Fragile states and regions are characterised by weak institutions, high rates of poverty, violence, corruption and general arbitrariness. Fragility manifests itself in both development and transition contexts as well as humanitarian crises.

Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies

Focus on SDG 16+ to promote peaceful, equitable and inclusive societies for a sustainable development and to combat conflict.

Preventing conflict and all forms of violence

In preventing violent conflict, the aim is to stop previous conflicts from flaring up again and new conflicts from forming. The task is not simply to prevent crises but also to address the root causes.