South Sudan has officially been declared the world’s most fragile country by the Washington-based non-profit Fund For Peace (FFP). The infant country’s ranking on the list is the result of the relentless political and humanitarian turmoil that continues to plague the African state.
Fund For Peace uses 12 variables to determine the ranking of each country on the list. For social indicators, FFP ranked countries based on their Demographic Pressures (how factors such as natural disasters or population growth affect the government’s abilities to protect its citizens), Refugees and IDPs (how the government is protecting its citizens against displacement), Group Grievance (the government’s ability to stifle racism and discrimination) and Human Flight and Brain Drain (the increase or decrease of human capital in the country).
For economic indicators, FFP used two indexes: Uneven Economic Development (disparity in the economic growth of people based on ethnic or religious differences), and Poverty and Economic Decline (which indicates the failure of the state to sustain wealth within the nation).
For political and military indicators, the FFP used State Legitimacy (the influence of corruption and the effectiveness of the government to handle national and foreign affairs), Public Service (the ability or inability of the country to provide basic public needs), Human Rights and Rule of Law (the ability or inability of a state to uphold human rights and impose the constitution), Security Apparatus (the ability of the state to maintain peace and order within the country with minimal to no threat from rebel groups or militants), Factionalized Elites (when leaders game influence and power in state activities like elections), and External Intervention (when a country fails to keep up with international obligations like keeping a good credit rating with international lenders).
Using these extensive variables, the organization found South Sudan to be the world’s most fragile country. Scarce resources, impaling poverty, and persisting political troubles have driven South Sudan into its current state. Somalia, who used to be on the top of the list, went second place. Analysis indicates that although the East African country is still struggling with blatant lawlessness, there has been a “trajectory of improvement” in terms of their socioeconomic indicators, according to CNN.
Countries that follow South Sudan and Somalia on the list are Central African Republic, Congo, Sudan, Chad, Afghanistan, Yemen and Haiti. The countries mentioned are categorized “very high” and “high” alert by the FFP.
Finland, on the other hand, is placed at the bottom of the list, gaining the coveted title as the world’s most stable country.
[Image from Arsenie Coseac via Flickr]