LONDON, June 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —
Peacefulness in Europe reaches an historic high
The Middle East is spiralling into deepening violence
- Many OECD countries reached historically high levels of peace, boosted by reductions in homicide rates, levels of military expenditure and military engagements.
- Iceland tops the Index as the most peaceful country in the world, Syria is the least peaceful.
- MENA’s peace now the lowest since 2008, as the region falls to the bottom of the Index for the first time.
- Growth in terrorist activity spilled over from MENA into Sub-Saharan Africa with largest increases recorded in Nigeria, Cameroonand Niger.
- The intensity of armed conflict increased dramatically, with the number of people killed in conflicts globally rising more than 3.5 times, from 49,000 in 2010 to 180,000 in 2014.
- Total deaths from terrorism in 2014 increased by 9% to an estimated 20,000.
- Almost 1% of the world’s population now refugees or internally displaced (IDPs), the highest level since 1945, and numbers expected to increase.
- The impact of violence on the global economy reached US$14.3 trillion or 13.4% of global GDP in the last year, equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
Escalating civil strife and the consequent refugee crisis have been among the key drivers in increasing the cost of global violence containment, according to the 2015 Global Peace Index published today by the global think-tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Since 2008 the total economic impact of violence has increased by US$1.9 trillion(+15.3%). The cost of supporting refugees and IDPs alone has increased by 267% since 2008, and now amounts to US$128 billion. However military expenditure, homicide and police forces remain the most costly categories, accounting collectively for 68.3% of the total cost.
Steve Killelea , Founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP observed, “ Reducing conflict is a crucial plank in ensuring continued world economic recovery . If global violence were to decrease by 10% uniformly, an additional US$1.43 trillion would effectively be added to the world economy. To put this in perspective, this is more than six times the total value of Greece ‘ s bailout and loans from the IMF, ECB and other Eurozone countries combined. “
Overall, global peace levels remained stable in 2014; but are lower than 2008. However the overall score disguises an increasing division between the most and least peaceful nations. Since last year, 81 countries improved their levels of peacefulness while 78 deteriorated.
Institute for Economics and Peace