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Engaging with Fragile States : An IEG Review of World Bank Support to Low-Income Countries under Stress

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  • Independent Evaluation Group

Abstract

Home to almost 500 million people, roughly half of whom earn less than a dollar a day, fragile states, until recently known in the World Bank as Low-Income Countries Under Stress (LICUS), have attracted increasing attention. The Bank identified 25 such countries in fiscal 2005 based on their income and Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) rating. These 25 countries have a number of similarities: their infant mortality rate is a third higher than that of other low-income countries, life expectancy is 12 years lower, and their maternal mortality rate is about 20 percent higher. There are also important differences among LICUS. Some, Angola and Cambodia among them, grew at around 4 percent per annum during 1995-2003; others, such as the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Guinea-Bissau, had negative growth rates of similar magnitude. Some, such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea, have abundant natural resources, but others, such as Burundi and Haiti, are resource poor. This paper includes the following headings: effectiveness of the Bank's LICUS approach; operational utility of the LICUS identification; classification, and aid-allocation system; the Bank's internal support for LICUS Work; and conclusions, lessons, and recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Independent Evaluation Group, 2006. "Engaging with Fragile States : An IEG Review of World Bank Support to Low-Income Countries under Stress," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7155, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:7155
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    File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/7155/382850Revised01gile0states01PUBLIC1.pdf?sequence=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. P. Guillaumont & L. Chauvet, 2001. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 66-92.
    2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    3. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
    4. R. Lensink & H. White, 2001. "Are There Negative Returns to Aid?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 42-65.
    5. Kanbur, Ravi, 2005. "Reforming the Formula: A Modest Proposal for Introducing Development Outcomes in IDA Allocation Procedures," CEPR Discussion Papers 4971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Brian Levy & Sahr Kpundeh, 2004. "Building State Capacity in Africa : New Approaches, Emerging Lessons," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14878, April.
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