The category of failed states has been critically considered in the article because it is often defined due to the dominant, West-oriented ideology. Four states have been chosen, ie. Afghanistan, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia, which to the highest extent fulfill the criteria of being “failed”. The next section discusses regulations prepared by international governmental organisations, which refer to the problem of failed or fragile states. The main part of the article regards practical activities of IGOs toward states that are in danger of failure. The essence is military, police, and various civilian missions (eg. supporting the rule of law). A special importance is attached to humanitarian and development assistance. Further some methods of controlling the effects by IGO’s have been pointed out. The conclusions emphasize the uncertain future of failed states and a high degree of IGOs’ involvement in counteracting the problem.