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Wars Cost World $13 Trillion Last Year

  • VOA News

FILE - Smoke rises after airstrikes on the rebel-held al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 29, 2016.

FILE - Smoke rises after airstrikes on the rebel-held al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 29, 2016.

Wars and other conflicts cost the global economy more than $13.6 trillion, some 13 percent of global GDP, in 2015, according to an annual study on the cost of violence.

The Global Peace Index for 2016, which was compiled by the Institute of Economics and Peace in Australia, ranks 163 countries by the level of peace they are experiencing.

According to the study "The last decade has seen a historic decline in world peace, interrupting the long term improvements since WWII."

The world is seeing an increasing gap between peaceful countries and less peaceful countries. The report said many countries are experiencing “record high” levels of peace, but the bottom 20 countries are “much less peaceful.”

"The world has become slightly less peaceful compared to the prior year, and the gap between the most and least peaceful nations continued to widen. More countries improved than deteriorated, but the size of the deterioration outweighed the improvement."

Syria, which has been wracked by a bloody civil war that has taken a quarter million lives and displaced many more, was not among the five countries with the steepest declines in peacefulness.

“The historic 10-year deterioration in peace has largely been driven by the intensifying conflicts in the [Middle East and North Africa],” says the report. “Terrorism is also at an all-time high, battle deaths from conflict are at a 25-year high, and the number of refugees and displaced people is at a level not seen in 60 years."

The cost of war and other violence was calculated based on military spending, damage to property and infrastructure, as well as the costs of crime associated with violence.

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