Fragile States Index: US Is Eighth Most-Worsened Nation

Image: Fragile States Index: US Is Eighth Most-Worsened Nation The U.S. ranked eighth in a list of most-worsened nations, while Iran topped the most-improved list.

Friday, 27 Jun 2014 09:44 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The United States tied with Singapore and Thailand for the eighth most-worsened country on the 2014 Fragile States Index, an annual report by the Washington-based nonprofit Fund for Peace that scores global political, economic, and social pressures experienced by states.

While the index is dominated by underdeveloped nations, the United States ranked eighth on the list of most-worsened, and was tied with Singapore, and one spot below France, which earned its position due to "political and economic malaise," according to CNN.

The United States made the list for such reasons as "lack of bipartisanship in Congress and the partial government shutdown last year," CNN reported.

"The recent worsening of the United States, France, and Singapore also shows us that instability is not exclusive to developing countries," the Fragile States Index says.

The Central African Republic, embroiled in violent fighting between Muslim rebels and Christian militias, topped the most-worsened list. The International Federation for Human Rights warned this week that the situation there "threatens to create the conditions for a genocide reminiscent of Bosnia in the 1990s," Fox News reported.

After the Central African Republic, the list includes Syria, Libya, Mozambique, the Philippines, and South Sudan.

Iran led the list for most-improved nations, with the Fund for Peace writing that despite concerns about its nuclear program, Iran "has taken several gradual but important steps to improve its standing on the world stage over the past year."

The country has increased healthcare spending and received positive marks for its response to two April 2013 tremors. Air pollution, food shortages, global sanctions, hyperinflation, and high unemployment have hurt Iran, the Fragile States Index states, but "in spite of these challenges, Iran's sizable market and greater desire to engage with global actors has slightly improved the country's economy."

After Iran, the most-improved list contains Serbia, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Fiji, Kyrgyz Republic, and Turkey.

After six years in the No. 1 position, Somalia was knocked out of the top spot by South Sudan as the world's most fragile state. South Sudan is combating "fractious leadership, mass killings and ethnic violence," according to CNN.

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