Afghanistan is Least Peaceful Country in the World in 2021

The security situation in Afghanistan has been degrading for years. According to the Global Peace Index 2021, Afghanistan is the world’s least peaceful country, with the scope and intensity of the internal conflict in Afghanistan steadily increasing since at least 2014.

For the last ten years Afghanistan has been ranked as one of the three least peaceful nations on earth according to the GPI, and has been the least peaceful for the last four years.

Since the start of the GPI in 2008, Afghanistan has seen a degradation in eighteen of the Global Peace Index’s indicators, with many being in the ‘Safety and Security’ category.

This includes a 66.6% rise in violent crime, and a 33.7% rise in violent demonstration. Also notable is an 80.6% rise in the number of internal conflicts fought.

Only two indicators have shown an improvement since 2008: the number of deaths from external conflict and one relating to UN peacekeeper funding.

Civilian deaths have also been rising.

A UN Report found that more women and children were killed and wounded in the first six months of 2021 than in any first six months of any year since the US started tracking such data in 2009.

The report also found that in the first six months of 2021, 32% of all civilian casualties were children.

The GPI 2021 reported that Afghanistan had the highest total number of deaths due to internal conflict of any nation. The index also reported that Afghanistan suffered one of the largest proportional economic costs due of violence in the world. It found that the economic cost of violence in Afghanistan was 40.3 percent of the total national GDP.

This made Afghanistan the third most affected country, with only Syria and South Sudan having a higher relative impact.

People in Afghanistan saw violence as the greatest risk they face in their lives

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll, incorporated in the GPI 2021, found that 71% of people in Afghanistan saw violence as the greatest risk they face in their lives. This was the highest proportion of respondents from any nation.

The poll also found that 77% of people in Afghanistan feel they are less safe than they had been five years ago, with only Hong Kong and Lebanon reporting a larger proportion.

Over 52% per cent of poll respondents from Afghanistan said they or someone they knew personally had suffered serious harm from violent crime in the last 12 months.

This was more than double the regional average, and made Afghanistan the only authoritarian country in the world with an experience of violence greater than 50%.

Pakistan had the next highest level of experience of violence in the region at 31%. Afghanistan’s northern neighbour Turkmenistan has the lowest reported rate of experience of violence in the world at 1%.

This is an extract from the Institute for Economics and Peace ‘Afghanistan: Conflict & Crisis’.

Download the Afghanistan: Conflict Crisis report.

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Afghanistan: Conflict & Crisis

In this briefing, we investigate security, violence, ecological threats, levels of Positive Peace and the future prospects of Afghanistan.

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