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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 2016 Global Peace Index published by the global think-tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The total economic impact of violence last year reached US$14.3 trillion, or 13.4% of global GDP. That’s equivalent to the combined economies of Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Large increases in violence costs have occurred in deaths from internal conflict, IDP and refugee related costs, UN peacekeeping costs and GDP losses from conflict.

Excluding North Korea, the ten countries with the largest violence containment expenditure as a percentage of GDP are in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA. Seven of these countries are involved in some form of civil conflict, which has become a major driver of violence containment expenditure in recent years. In absolute terms, the countries with the largest violence containment expenditure are the United States, China, Russia, India and Brazil. These countries account for 54 per cent of total violence containment expenditure while also accounting for 45 per cent of world GDP and 46 per cent of the world’s population.

See also: Global Peace Index, 2017

* Violence containment is the economic activity related to the consequences or prevention of violence where the violence is directed against people or property.

Source: Global Peace Index (GPI), 2017

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