Researchers predict new conflicts due to pandemics

The Global Peace Index describes the state of world peace each year. This time, experts warn that the Covid19 pandemic could lead to new conflicts.

As a result of Corona pandemic, violence and conflict in many parts of the world may increase. This is the result of a study by the International Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) based in Sydney, Australia. The pandemic and its economic consequences will have a massive impact on society, according to the Global Peace Index 2020 report. Especially countries that are unstable and characterized by tensions will fall under even greater pressure, due to hunger and the struggle for limited resources, the researchers write.

They refer particularly to Africa. Fighting in Libya The world is less peaceful Each year the IEP assesses the situation in more than 160 countries around the world using criteria such as war, terrorism, police violence and arms exports. The IEP notes a decline in peaceful relations around the world. This also applies to the reporting period 2019. “The world is significantly less peaceful,” the latest index said. However, there is a division into two groups of 80 countries each.

In one group the situation has improved, in the other it has worsened. Corona’s pandemic is likely to exacerbate the situation, in part because cuts to UN development aid and peacekeeping missions are expected. This could further destabilize conflict-affected countries such as Liberia, Afghanistan and South Sudan, the researchers said. Risk of economic turmoil Also countries such as Brazil, Pakistan and Argentina are due to economic turmoil at greater risk for political instability, unrest and violence. However, there is also a positive effect of the Corona crisis: interventions and wars in other countries may be more difficult to finance in the future.

But if, for example, Saudi Arabia’s engagement in Yemen or Russia’s involvement in Syria marked a real decline, it is, of course, open. Protests in Lebanon Fall of terrorist attacks The report also notes that the number of deaths from terrorist attacks is falling worldwide. In 2015, some 33,500 people died as a result of terrorism, and 8,000 last year. Military spending in relation to gross domestic product has also declined in 100 countries. In 133 countries there has also been a decrease in the percentage of military personnel compared to the overall percentage of the population.

Addition of internal turmoil On the other hand, the index shows an increase in internal unrest. In 2019, almost 60 percent of all countries were affected by the violent protests. IEP experts observe a long-term trend here: the number of unrest around the world in the last ten years has almost tripled. IEP estimates that in 2019 the economic costs of violence and conflict worldwide were $ 14.5 billion (€ 12.8 billion).