London, Jun 17 (EFE).- The coronavirus pandemic has had a “significant impact” on the levels of conflict and violence in the world by generating more civil unrest and political instability, according to the Institute of Economics and Peace in a report released Thursday.
The annual Global Peace Index (GPI), which assesses 163 states and territories and covers 99.7 percent of the world’s population, reveals that the average level of global peace deteriorated in 2020 by 0.07 percent, with improvements identified in 87 countries and deteriorations in 73.
Their findings show “a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising tensions between many of the major powers.”
IEP founder Steve Killelea told EFE that the deterioration in global peace has been driven by three main factors – violent demonstrations, political instability and militarization – which are directly related to Covid-19 and the economic downturn that it has caused.
He believes that the economic fallout from the pandemic will create more uncertainty, especially for countries that already had other problems.
The report finds that “growing unease with lockdowns and rising economic uncertainty resulted in civil unrest increasing in 2020.”
More than 5,000 incidents of violence related to the coronavirus crisis were recorded between January 2020 and April 2021, although the GPI maintains that “it is still too early to fully gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic.”
“The level of civil unrest rose in 2020, fueled in large part by responses to government’s measure designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” it adds.
The economic conditions in many nations increase the probability of political instability and violent demonstrations, according to the institute, which names India, Chile, Italy, France, Germany and South Africa as the countries particularly impact by the pandemic.
According to the index, Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia, while Afghanistan is the least peaceful for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and Iraq.
Europe is the most peaceful region, with eight of the 10 countries at the top of the ranking located on that continent, while Singapore dropped from the top 10, replaced by Ireland.
Only three of the nine regions of the world have become more peaceful in the past year, with the greatest improvement in the Middle East and North Africa, followed by Europe and South Asia.
The greatest deterioration occurred in North America, driven by the United States’ increasing perceptions of criminality and political instability, and more violent demonstrations, followed by South America, due to increases in violent crime and civil unrest.
In another section, violence is highlighted as a crucial issue cited by many people around the world as the greatest risk to their daily security, in almost a third of countries.
In fact, more than 50 percent of people in Afghanistan, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and the Dominican Republic see violence as the greatest risk they face in their daily lives.
However, nearly 75 percent of people globally feel as safe or more safe today than they did five years ago. EFE