Sunday 23 October 2016

Global economy hit as €12.3trn spent on war in the last year

James Somper

Published 19/06/2015 | 02:30

A man holds a girl who survived heavy shelling in the Douma neighbourhood of Damascus Photo: Reuters
A man holds a girl who survived heavy shelling in the Douma neighbourhood of Damascus Photo: Reuters

More than $14trn (€12.3trn) was spent on international conflicts in the past year, according to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which found that Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were responsible for a surge in war deaths.

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The spending represents 13pc of global GDP and is roughly the combined value of the economies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Spain and Brazil.

Steve Killelea, IEP chief executive, said reducing conflict was one way to help the world's economic recovery.

"If global violence were to decrease by 10pc uniformly, an additional $1.43 trillion would effectively be added to the world economy," he said.


Published annually since 2008, the Global Peace Index uses 23 indicators and three key themes: Level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic and international conflict; and finally, the degree of militarisation.

This year saw overall levels of conflict unchanged. However, the picture was uneven around the world, with 86 nations seeing their peace index fall while 76 enjoyed increased peace.

The decline was mainly concentrated in the Middle East and Africa. Syria was the most dangerous country, closely followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.

Libya recorded the biggest deterioration, falling 13 places to 149th, becoming the 14th least peaceful country; whilst Ukraine recorded the second largest with around 6,000 recorded deaths since the start of the civil war and one million people displaced. Levels of peace in South America also declined in the midst of public protests in Brazil and Mexico, as well as a surge in criminal violence in the region.

The report also indicated how those killed in conflicts had risen more than 350pc so far this decade, from 49,000 in 2010 to 180,000 in 2014.

This occurred amid a 61pc increase in terror-related deaths in 2013 with 18,000 people killed. Most of these occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

At the other end of the spectrum, Iceland and Denmark were recorded as the world's most peaceful nations as Europe in general continued a long-term trend towards greater levels of peace, with murder and crime rates at an all-time low.

North America, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean all also showed increases in peace.

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