World Peace Suffers From War in Ukraine and Economic Situation After Corona Crisis
The conflict in Ukraine and the economic situation after the corona pandemic are having an impact on world peace. The Global Peace Index has fallen to its lowest point in 15 years, according to the 16th index published Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
In the country ranking of the index, Belgium is in 22nd place, out of 163 countries. That’s two places better than the previous index.
The report shows that the average peace level has decreased (by 0.3 percent). In 90 countries the situation has improved, in 71 there was a deterioration. Since 2008, however, the situation in the world has become less and less peaceful. The index fell by an average of 3.2 percent.
The main cause is the ongoing conflicts. The indicator “deaths from external conflicts” saw the biggest change, rising more than 4 percent due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are therefore among the five nations with the greatest deterioration of peace.
Defence spending declined in 2021, according to the index, but the possible increase in NATO countries’ military spending, to the 2 percent mark of GDP, could affect the peace level in the coming years.
The indicator ‘relations with neighbouring countries’, on the other hand, had its worst score, also due to the conflict in Ukraine. This mainly concerns the countries around Russia.
The corona pandemic and its economic consequences also left their mark on world peace. Many countries have witnessed protests and violence against governments’ management of the pandemic. In no fewer than 126 of the 163 countries, the indicator for the intensity of violent manifestations has deteriorated.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country on the country list, ever since the index was created in 2008, followed by New Zealand and Ireland. At the bottom of the ranking, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan are in last place.
The violence also had an impact on the global economy in 2021. The cost to the global economy was thus $16.5 trillion, or 10.9 percent of global GDP, or the equivalent of $2,117 per person. The cost has increased by 12.4 percent from the previous year, largely due to the increase in military spending.
The report refers to 99.7 percent of the world’s population.