Friday, September 15, 2006

Which Countries are LICUS?

World Bank
September 15, 2006

As defined by the World Bank, all LICUS (Low-Income Countries Under Stress) are characterized by weak policies, institutions, and governance. This map shows how the LICUS composition has changed through the years, since the program was instituted by the Bank. It also shows the countries' severity levels (see explanation below) and conflict/post-conflict status.

Severe LICUS:
Afghanistan
Central African Republic
Comoros
Liberia
Myanmar
Somalia
Zimbabwe

Core LICUS:
Angola
Burundi
Cambodia
Congo
Cote d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eritrea
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Kosovo (territory)
Lao PDR
Nigeria
Solomon Islands
Sudan
Timor-Leste
Togo
Vanuatu
West Bank and Gaza

Marginal LICUS:
Chad
Djibouti
Gambia
Papua New Guinea
São Tomé and Principe
Sierra-Leone
Tajikistan
Uzbekistan

The Bank has used two criteria to define core and severe LICUS: per capita income within the threshold of International Development Association (IDA) eligibility, and performance of 3.0 or less on both the overall Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) rating and on the CPIA rating for Public Sector Management and Institutions. Some low-income countries without CPIA data are also included.

Depending on the income level and CPIA rating, a LICUS country is classified in one of three subgroups: severe, core, or marginal. LICUS classified as "severe" have an overall and governance CPIA of 2.5 or less; LICUS classified as "core" have an overall and governance CPIA of 2.6–3.0); and LICUS classified as "marginal" have an overall and governance CPIA of 3.2. Marginal LICUS score on the edge of what is considered LICUS, and hence are identified by the Bank only for monitoring purposes (henceforth LICUS refers to core and severe LICUS, not marginal LICUS).

The Bank has recently replaced the term LICUS with fragile states , while retaining the same criteria to identify these countries.

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