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17.06.2021 16:42 News >> 'Changing Economic Conditions Amid COVID-19 Increase Instability, Violence'

'Changing Economic Conditions Amid COVID-19 Increase Instability, Violence'

Over 5,000 pandemic related violent events recorded between January 2020 and April 2021, reveals Global Peace Index report.

The deteriorating economic conditions in many countries due to the coronavirus pandemic increased the possibility of "political instability and violent demonstrations," according to a report by the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2021 published Thursday.
"It is still too early to fully gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic on peace. However, the changing economic conditions in many nations increase the likelihood of political instability and violent demonstrations," the report said.
"The pandemic had a significant impact on the levels of conflict and violence. The level of civil unrest rose in 2020, fueled in large part by responses to governments' measures designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus," the report added.
"Over 5,000 pandemic-related violent events were recorded between January 2020 and April 2021," it found.
According to the report, "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."
"The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peacefulness is still unfolding. While some forms of violence declined in the short term, growing unease with lockdowns and rising economic uncertainty resulted in civil unrest increasing in 2020," the report added
The 15th edition of the GPI, the world's leading measure of global peacefulness produced by Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.
Global peacefulness deteriorates
According to the GPI statement, the report "presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies."
"The GPI covers 99.7% of the world's population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security, the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the degree of Militarization," it added.
"This year's results show that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07%. This is the ninth deterioration in peacefulness in the last 13 years, with 87 countries improving, and 73 recording deteriorations; however, the change in score is the second smallest in the history of the index," it added.
Iceland most peaceful country
The Nordic country Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, according to the report, a position it has held since 2008.
"It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia."
Meanwhile, Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.
"All, except Yemen, have been ranked amongst the five least peaceful nations since at least 2015, with Afghanistan having been ranked amongst the three least peaceful nations since 2010," the report added.
"Eight of the 10 countries at the top of the GPI are located in Europe. This is the most European countries to be ranked in the top 10 in the history of the index.
"Singapore fell out of the top 10, replaced by Ireland which improved by three places," according to the report.
"Only three of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. The largest improvement occurred in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), followed by Europe and South Asia.
"However, MENA still remains the least peaceful region in the world. An improvement in the level of ongoing conflict in MENA was the biggest driver of increased peacefulness, with every indicator on the domain, recording an improvement," the report read.
Past 15-year peacefulness falls
According to the report, in the past 15 years, peacefulness has fallen.
"Of the 163 countries in the GPI, 86 recorded improvements, while 75 recorded deteriorations and two recorded no change in score.
"Year on year deteriorations in peacefulness have been much more common, with peacefulness only improving four times since the beginning of the index. Fifteen of the 23 GPI indicators deteriorated between 2008 and 2021," according to the report.
The report said that 90 countries recorded intensified terrorist activity, while only 50 had lower levels of terrorism. "However, after peaking in 2014, during the height of the Syrian civil war, total deaths from terrorism have fallen every year for the last six years, with the largest falls occurring in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria."
"Although the impacts of terrorism and conflict have fallen over the past six years, the level of civil and political unrest has risen," the report said.
"The number of violent demonstrations rose in 61 countries since 2008 and fell in just 27 countries. There was a 244% increase globally in riots, general strikes, and anti-government demonstrations between 2011 and 2019," according to the report. -



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