Why We Work in Conflict Affected Situations and Fragile States

The Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force is at the leading-edge of policy development and programming seeking to address the roots causes of crisis in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Acutely fragile states and conflict-affected situations constitute major challenges for the international community:

  • Crises and fragility affect approximately 1.5 billion citizens around the world;
  • Conflict-affected states loose $39 billion annually in GDP, and cost the wider international community up to $237 billion per year;
  • For Canada, current annual non-military spending exceeds $1 billion, including $339 million in humanitarian assistance.
  • 30% of all Official Development Assistance by donor governments is spent in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Source: World Bank; OECD.

Fragile States and Canada

The consequences of state fragility and violent armed conflict can threaten Canadian security, stability and prosperity, at home and abroad. Armed conflict and the effects of state fragility may spill over borders, taking on a regional or global dimension. International support may be required to meet people’s basic needs, including security, and to ensure access to basic services according to humanitarian principles.

Confronting the unique challenges associated with fragile states and conflict-affected situations promotes Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, as well as with our foreign policy priorities prosperity and security.

Canada has a global presence and interests. Whether for reasons of security, prosperity or values, Canadians have a stake in confronting fragility. For this reason, the Government maintains specialized capabilities, such as START, to address the unique challenges posed by fragility.

For more information on fragile states: