All these extremely fragile and underdeveloped economies have either recently been through a civil war or are suffering from ongoing sectarian or ethnic conflicts. 

Author: Jonathan Gregson
Project Coordinator: Edith Updike

2. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Current International Dollars:  784 | Click To View GDP & Economic Data

While the DRC contains vast natural resources, it still retains an unenviable position as the second poorest country in the world. The country is currently experiencing severe political unrest. President Kabila, who has held the position since the assassination of his father in 2001 and was subsequently re-elected with some controversy in 2011, recently postponed presidential elections scheduled for last November to April 2017. This has triggered warnings of renewed civil war from opposition groups unless he steps down when his mandate ends.  An 18,000 strong UN peacekeeping force remains in the country and the World Bank reports that ‘peacebuilding and economic recovery efforts are being carried out in a challenging social context’, with corruption an endemic problem.  Having achieved GDP growth rates ahead of most sub-Saharan African countries until this year, the decline in both demand and the international price for copper and other minerals, combined with domestic political uncertainty, has led in recent months to a sharp increase in inflation, the CDF’s value falling against the US dollar, and foreign currency reserves declining to cover just 4.5 weeks of imports.

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