Violence costs world economy $13.6 trillion in year: Report
ISTANBULThe total economic impact of violence on the world economy in 2015 was estimated to be $13.6 trillion, according to a recent report endorsed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which particularly highlighted attacks in Turkey, France and Belgium.
The figures in the “Economic Value of Peace” report prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) are expressed in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.
“The economic impact of violence in Europe decreased by 8 percent in 2015. The main trend in the data for the region is related to terrorism which saw a very significant increase albeit off a very low base. Terrorist attacks in Turkey, France, Belgium and other parts of Europe, resulted in an increase of 1700 percent in the economic impact of terrorism in Europe,” the report read, adding that the cost of terrorism in Europe is still only 6 percent of the cost in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 34 percent of South Asia.
On July 20, 2015, 34 young activists were killed and about 100 were wounded in a suicide bombing in the southeastern town of Suruç near the border with Syria. Turkish officials blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). On Oct. 10, 2015, in the bloodiest single attack in Turkey’s history, at least 109 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a peace rally in Ankara. The prime minister said ISIL was the suspect.
The WEF report evaluates the year 2015 but the country faced more terror attack last year, with at least 275 people being killed and thousands wounded in major bomb attacks across Turkey staged by ISIL or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017, an ISIL suspect also killed at least 39 in a shootout in an Istanbul nightclub.
“Conflict today has captured the worlds’ attention as we directly or indirectly bear witness to the growing reach of terrorism and civil unrest,” the WEF said on its website.
“While the devastating human suffering caused by war is the most obvious impact, the long-term cost to the economy can be crippling for a region’s infrastructure and stability.”
The world continues to spend vastly disproportionate resources on creating and containing violence compared to what it spends on peace, the WEF concluded.
“In 2015 alone, U.N. peace-keeping expenditures of $8.27 billion totaled only 1.1 percent of the estimated $742 billion of economic losses from armed conflict.”
The report uses a complex methodology to account for the economic impact of violence and conflict based on 16 separate expenditure categories. The selection of the 16 expenditure categories is based on the definition of activities related to “containing, preventing and dealing with the consequences of violence.”
The major contributor to global violence containment costs is military expenditure, which reached $6.16 trillion PPP, or 45 percent of the economic impact of violence in 2015, the report noted.
Internal security expenditure is the second largest category, with $3.5 trillion dollars PPP, or approximately 26 percent of global violence costs.
Homicide, at 13 percent, is the third largest category. The economic impact of homicide in 2015 was approximately $1.79 trillion PPP.