Annual global cost of war hits US$9.8 trillion

A recent study has demonstrated the staggering cost of war on the world economy. Put together by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Peace Index (GPI) indicates that the global cost of containing and dealing with violence around the world was US$9.8 trillion.

This is equivalent to a little over US$1 billion per hour.

The overall cost of war is larger than the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Small Island Developing States in the Pacific (US$8 billion) and 25 times greater than the GDP of Tuvalu (US$38 million). The Australian National Committee for UN Women is particularly concerned with this research, as women are disproportionately affected by both poverty and conflict.

“This [$9.8 trillion] figure is staggering and demonstrates that war has a deep economic, not to mention human cost for all nations,” says Julie McKay, Executive Director of UN Women. “This figure highlights the need to involve women in peacebuilding and post-conflict restructuring of their nations, so that peace is long lasting and so that money can be diverted to where it is needed most.”

90 percent of casualties in contemporary conflicts are civilians, of which women and children make up the majority. Sexual violence is often used as a weapon of war, with women as the primary targets.