Fishermen rest on their boats at the main fishing port in Hodeida, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

Fishermen rest on their boats at the main fishing port in Hodeida, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

Preventing conflict, violence, and fragility requires an integrated international response from governments, civil society, the private sector, and multilateral institutions and think tanks. An increasing number of these institutions—including the United Nations—have begun to recognize this reality, calling for new and innovative strategies, frameworks, programs, and funding mechanisms, with a particular focus on fragile states.

Today, nearly half of the 836 million people who live in extreme poverty are in fragile contexts. A 2018 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that will rise to 80 percent by 2030. To meet the demands of this large a population, investment in prevention must be deepened in order to move beyond largely reactive crisis support. This is especially if we hope to make good on the 2030 Agenda’s pledge to “leave no on behind.” Not only will shifts in approach reduce conflict, diminish violent extremism, address fragility, and provide greater assurance that less people are left behind, there will also be significant cost benefits. Recent research conducted by the World Bank found that, even using the most conservative estimates, effective prevention saves between $5–70 billion per year. One of the most pressing questions is whether the necessary architecture is in place to prioritize prevention. Read more