SOMALIA REMAINS the world’s most failed state, according to the latest annual Failed States Index compiled by the Fund for Peace. At the other end of the scale, Ireland is ranked 171st out of the 177 countries surveyed.
The index uses publicly available information to analyse countries across a range of factors from economic development to refugee flows.
Somalia, which hasn’t had an effective government since 1991, has repeatedly topped the index and was recently named in a separate report as one of the worst places in the world for women. The country’s women’s minister Maryan Qasim says that women face a daily struggle to feed their families and are constantly at risk of being raped and shot.
Somalia has seen the rise of Islamist extremists in recent years, with the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab particularly gaining strength.
Foreign Policy, which publishes the index results in partnership with the Fund for Peace, notes that Iraq and Afghanistan have moved down the ranking, suggesting both have improved somewhat on last year. Haiti, however, rose six places on last year’s position to number five in the index.
In photos: The top ten failed states, according to the Failed States Index 2011: