Cost of Violence in Somalia


The Economic Cost of Violence Containment, the latest research report from the Institute for Economics and Peace, calculates the cost of violence in over 150 countries around the world. The report breaks down violence containment spending in three countries that spend the largest portion of GDP on preventing and containing violence: Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Somalia is the clearest example available of the worst-case scenario of long-term conflict and insecurity and its impact on economic growth and human development potential. While GDP per capita levels trended downward prior to the removal of Siad Barre in 1991, the resulting conflict led to a precipitous fall from a GDP per capita of US$643 in 1992 to US$452 in 2001.

Since the conflict in Somalia began, there has been little growth in per capita income, consumption and investment.

The lack of governance since the mid-90s has resulted in a complete stagnation of economic growth

The lack of authority and ongoing instability has undermined any prospect for even short term economic development.

Currently, Somalia relies heavily on foreign assistance and spends 18% of GDP, or $1.09 billion on violence containment. This has resulted in the largest per capita cost of any UN Peacekeeping mission. The top three violence containment expenditures were UN peacekeeping missions ($46 per capita), homicides ($25 per capita) and GDP losses from conflict ($12 per capita).

Somalia currently ranks 161st in the Global Peace Index with a high level of perceived criminality, high levels of homicides; access to weapons, violent crimes and political terror, among other GPI indicators. Furthermore, the internal conflict has compounded Somalia’s crisis and has added to the 30% unemployment rate leaving few options for 15-34 year olds which, make up 28.9% of the male population. The cost of violence has placed an unbearable burden on securing the future for Somalia’s youth. 

To find out more, download a copy of The Economic Cost of Violence Containment and skip to page 19 to read the full case study. 

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The Global Cost of Violence

The Economic Cost of Violence Containment, the latest report from the Institute for Economics and Peace, calculates the cost of violence in over 150 countries around the world.


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