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Countries facing fragility and conflict lack resilience to conflict and other shocks – conflict, economic instability, poverty, climate change, epidemics, and fragility tend to feed off each other in a negative cycle. The end of the commodity price boom represents a major economic shock for most of the developing world, especially Africa. The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa provides another example of a shock producing significant economic costs, loss in confidence and panic, the breakdown of formal systems, and global alarm. The lack of social protection and poverty graduation programmes in fragile environments weaken state legitimacy and capacity. There is a need now to use research to identify specific policies that build resilience to conflict and other shocks.
Five witnesses delivered opening remarks and discussed this important topic with the Commissioners.