Fragile states are states that are not able to guarantee development, security or respect for human rights for their citizens. Switzerland wants to step up its efforts in fragile countries because that is where the least progress towards development has been made and where people are in the greatest need. Some 1.5 billion people are currently estimated to live in over 40 fragile states affected by violence and conflict.
Why does Switzerland work in fragile contexts?
The instability of fragile states can have a direct or indirect impact on neighbouring regions and indeed on the whole world. Development cooperation can help strengthen fragile states and thus reduce risks. Switzerland's experience with democratic institutions lends it considerable foreign policy credibility and has earned it the legitimacy to take an active part in helping to resolve conflicts. In countries with good economic prospects and a political will for change, Switzerland can make a real difference by strengthening state institutions and civil society.