Nigeria has been ranked the 14th least stable country in the world for the second year in a row out of 178 countries assessed in the 2019 Fragile States Index (FSI).
This was contained in the report launched on Wednesday by the Washington DC-based Fund For Peace (FFP).
Even though Nigeria scored 98.5 representing less than 1.4 over the 2018, fragile states index of 99.91, the ranking still remained at 14th position lower than some crisis hit African countries like Cameroon, Burundi and Niger Republic among others.
Also, Nigeria fragile states index while fluctuating substantially in recent years, has tended to increase through 2009 – 2019 period ending at 98.5 index.
A look at the 15-year ranking, Nigeria recorded the best stable year in 2005 when it ranked 54 in 2005, which was first time the index was published, followed by 2006 when it ranked 22nd and 2008 at 18th. The next best years were in 2007 and 2014 when Nigeria was ranked 17th, followed by 16th in 2013 and 15th in 2009 but the country has been at its lowest ranking of 13th-14th position in the last four years.
The war torn Yemen displaced South Sudan as the most fragile state in 2019 with Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Congo DRC, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Eritrea, Niger, Guinea Bissau and Uganda rounding up the top 20 list. All these countries fall within the Very High Alert, High Alert and Alert categories.
Finland emerged the most stable country in the world With Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Iceland, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Luxembourg in the top 10.
Yemen Most Fragile State in 2019
Yemen has claimed the top position in Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index (FSI) for the first time as a result of its civil war and humanitarian catastrophe. Yemen’s top ranking is the result of its rapid worsening over the past decade, with a brutal civil war which has been compounded by regional instability and power plays for which its population are unspeakably suffering. Meanwhile, Finland has claimed the position of least fragile state for the seventh year in a row.
Venezuela and Brazil Most-Worsened in 2019
Two countries tied for most-worsened over the past 12 months. Venezuela has been beset by significant turmoil, and in the wake of a contested and deeply flawed election in 2018, now finds itself with two leaders. This situation has only contributed to escalating violence and instability in the early months of 2019, prompting widespread human flight, a public health catastrophe, economic collapse, and significant criminality. Tying Venezuela for most-worsened country in 2019, Brazil’s internal challenges are growing, with tumultuous politics and a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who came to power through a campaign fueled by harsh right-wing rhetoric. The country’s poor performance is deeply-rooted in a general economic malaise, rampant corruption, and declining public services that have seen Brazil’s FSI score worsen for six straight years.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Fragile States Index, and long-term trends are able to provide some of the most helpful insights into the long-term development of countries. Cuba and Georgia have tied as the most-improved countries in the FSI over the past decade since 2009; meanwhile, Libya, Syria, Mali, Yemen, Venezuela, and Mozambique are the most-worsened countries over the same period.
Mauritius Becomes First African Country to Achieve “Very Stable” Status;
Singapore Becomes First Asian Country to Achieve “Sustainable” Status
In 2019, an African nation has, for the first time, ranked in the “Very Stable” category, with Mauritius ascending to join the likes of the United Kingdom and United States. And by no means is Mauritius alone in the region — both Botswana and the Seychelles now rank in the Stable Category, demonstrating the increasing level of stability in many parts of Africa. Similarly, Singapore has become the first Asian nation to move into the Sustainable category.
FSI 2019 Measures Improvements in Majority of Countries
Despite a focus on state fragility, the FSI has assessed that a vast majority of countries improved in 2019. Certainly, there is still much conflict, poverty, and inequality in the world, which feeds into long term fragility cycles and country vulnerability. But the data of the FSI suggests that the majority of countries are incrementally making improvements, providing a more hopeful future for their people.
About the FSI
Since 2005, the Fragile States Index, developed by Fund for Peace, has measured the social, economic, and political pressures facing 178 countries around the world. Comprised of 12 primary indicators and hundreds of sub-indicators, the Index uses a unique triangulated methodology that integrates content analysis of millions of documents pulled from more than 10,000 sources around the world, with quantitative data-sets and qualitative review. The Index and its indicators are based on a social-science framework that has been used by practitioners in the field of conflict early warning for over two decades.
Using the same methodology, the Fund for Peace works with governments, multilateral and regional organizations, and financial institutions to improve conflict early warning, undertake risk analysis and identify entry points for building resilience.
The full data of the FSI, as well as expert analysis on the findings, is available at www.fragilestatesindex.org.