By Stan Friedman
CHICAGO, IL (June 30, 2014) — The Evangelical Covenant Church is working in four of the five most fragile countries in the world as measured by the Fragile State Index that was released last week.
South Sudan topped the list of most fragile countries and was followed, in order, by Somalia, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. The Covenant is at work in some way in every country but Somalia.
Covenant World Relief (CWR) works with partners in all four countries. The Department of World Mission has ministries in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and DR Congo. The Paul Carlson Partnership, Women Ministries, and Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision work in DR Congo. The Covenant has been involved in Congo for 77 years.
The work includes a broad range of holistic ministry such as agricultural development, medical care, and famine relief, as well as many others.
“These are countries where many organizations hesitate to get involved because of the volatility and risks involved,” said Dave Husby, CWR director. “I am proud to be serving with the ECC and that we are willing to serve those who are most at risk in spite of the difficulties.”
Internal warfare in South Sudan, the world’s newest state, displaced Somalia as the most fragile state. Somalia had been considered the worst for six straight years.
According to the Peace Fund, “The most-worsened country for 2014 is Central African Republic, which was beset by civil war, widespread atrocities, and the deployment of a French-led peacekeeping force.”
Missionaries Roy and Aleta Danforth help lead an agricultural development project in CAR.
The Fund for Peace released the Fragile States Index last Thursday. It previously had been released annually as the Failed States Index.
According to the Fund for Peace, “Apart from the impact on their people, fragile and failed states present the international community with a variety of challenges. In today’s world, with its globalized economy, information systems and security challenges, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe.”