Some 1.5 billion people in an estimated 40 countries live marked by persistent vulnerability and fragility. Variously referred to as “fragile and conflict-affected countries”, these are countries confronted by a myriad of simultaneous and often overwhelming challenges, including armed conflict or political violence; serious and persistent human rights violations; and threats from organized crime and terrorist networks. Looked at through a different lens, however, today’s fragile states are potentially tomorrow’s emerging markets. More than three-quarters of states classified as “fragile” possess extensive mineral and energy resources and post impressive growth rates. For instance, in 2013, many fragile states posted growth rates of more than 5% – the Democratic Republic of Congo (8.2%), Cote d’Ivoire (7.0%), Timor Leste (10.0%), Afghanistan (6.5%) and Haiti (6.5%). These compare to a projected growth of 1.3% in advanced economies, and a contraction of -0.3% in the Eurozone.