What is the economic cost of conflict in the world?

The World Bank and the United Nations released a report on Thursday, March 1, on the theme: “Ways of Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflicts”.

The report advocates global change towards violence prevention and peacekeeping.

Conflicts are identified as one of the main obstacles to the fight against poverty, as in countries that are experiencing several years of crisis.

For the past decade, Africa has been one of two regions in the world where conflict growth has been fairly rapid, particularly in the eastern, central, northern parts of the continent, as well as in the Sahel. But the types of conflicts have become more complex today.

According to the report of the World Bank and the United Nations, it is no longer about wars between states.

Conflicts between organized and unorganized groups to protest against different forms of exclusion have been added to other types, such as terrorism of various origins.

The World Bank and the United Nations want to emphasize the need to invest in conflict prevention, saving $5billion to $70 billion annually globally and saving lives.

“The economic losses posed by the conflicts are enormous, hence the interest for all actors to invest in prevention,” explains by Franck Bousquet, head of the Fragility, Conflicts and Violence group at the World Bank.

“Conflicts now supply 80% of all humanitarian needs. The figures that we have been able to publish show that these conflicts regulate the GDP-GDP growth of 2% per year on average.

It is very important to intervene for development actors upstream, during prevention, to try to help states solve basic problems. For example, when a state does not guarantee equitable access to resources, the risk of conflict is very important, so these areas are commitment priorities for development actors. Our teams have also calculated that real prevention work would avoid $5billion to $70billion in losses per year, depending on different scenarios.”

According to the French researcher Philippe Hugon, 20% of the African population and 14 of the 54 countries of the continent were involved in the war in the early 2000s and these conflicts have displaced 14 million people.

Somalia has seen its per capita income reduced by 40 per cent since the start of the civil war.

Read the report

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