London, June 28 (EFE).- Deaths from armed conflicts reached the highest levels this century in 2022, mainly due to the wars in Ukraine and Ethiopia, a report by think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said Wednesday.
The Global Peace Index measures the degree of peacefulness in the world using qualitative and quantitative indicators across 163 countries, covering 99.7 percent of the world’s population.
This is the ninth year since 2014 in which global peacefulness has declined, according to the report, which said that conflict-related deaths increased by 96 percent compared to 2021 to stand at 238,000.
A total of 79 countries experienced an increase in conflict levels, most notably Ethiopia, Myanmar, Ukraine, Israel and South Africa.
The wars in Ukraine and Ethiopia claimed the highest number of lives in 2022, with some 83,000 and 100,000 casualties respectively.
The most peaceful countries were Iceland, Denmark, Ireland and New Zealand, the report said.
For the sixth consecutive year, Afghanistan was the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Europe remained the most peaceful region in the world, despite increased public investment in defense and regional tensions with neighboring countries over the Ukraine war.
The economic impact of the escalation in violence increased by 17 percent compared to the previous year to $17.5 trillion dollars in 2022, which is equivalent to 12.9 percent of the global GDP.
The economic impact of violence in Ukraine jumped 479 percent or $449 billion, equivalent to 64 percent of the country’s GDP.
Although 92 countries improved on military spending in relation to GDP, the absolute level of military expenditure increased, with the largest increases made by China, the United States and India.
The number of countries involved in some form of external conflict also rose to 91 in 2022 from 58 in 2008, according to the report.
Geopolitical competition also contributed to the rise in conflicts with countries competing for influence in states or regions through the supply of military assistance while drones played a major role in conflicts with a 40.8 percent increase in drone attacks in 2022, the report highlighted. EFE