Two countries tied for most-worsened over the past 12 months. Venezuela has been beset by enormous turmoil, and in the wake of a contested and deeply flawed election in 2018, now finds itself with two leaders. Brazil’s internal challenges remain significant, with tumultuous politics and a new president who came to power through a campaign fueled by harsh right-wing rhetoric.
After having ranked as the most-worsened country in the 2017 FSI, Ethiopia has staged a remarkable turn-around this year, ranking as the most-improved country in the wake of the ambitious reform agenda that has led to more political and social inclusiveness, breaking down the previous ethno-centric system that the country endured for decades.
This year, Yemen claimed the top position for the first time as a result of its civil war and humanitarian catastrophe. Although Yemen’s top ranking may provide cause for idle chatter, really the most attention should be given to its rapid worsening over the past decade, and the regional instability and power plays for which its population are unspeakably suffering.
In 2019, an African nation has, for the first time, ranked in the “Very Stable” category, with Mauritius ascending to join the likes of the United Kingdom and United States. Just as Mauritius this year became the first African country to break through to the Very Stable category, it is also important to recognize that Singapore became the first Asian nation to move into the Sustainable category.