The United States has contributed more to peacekeeping than any other country since 2007, according to the 2021 Economic Value of Peace report.
Since that time, the United States has contributed 25 per cent of the total funding received globally. Japan was the second largest contributor over that period, followed by China.
In 2019, $6.3 billion was spent on peacekeeping globally — but how are these funds spent to prevent and deal with violent conflict?
According to the United Nations, the body administering peacekeeping and peacebuilding programmes, there three priority areas identified for peacebuilding expenditure after a conflict include: basic safety and security; inclusive political processes; and core government functions.
The area of basic safety and security can include security system management and reform, small arms and light weapons control, removal of land mines, the prevention and demobilisation of child soldiers. Inclusive political processes can include legal and judicial development, building legislatures, political parties, anti-corruption organisations and institutions, and an independent media. Core government functions can include building public sector policy and administrative management, public finance management, and decentralisation and support for sub-national arms of government.
Peacebuilding activities aim to reduce the risk of relapsing into violent conflict by strengthening national capacities and institutions for conflict management and facilitating the conditions for sustainable peace. Of the $25.7 billion directed towards peacebuilding in 2019, Afghanistan received 20.3 per cent. The country has been the largest recipient of peacebuilding funding since 2007.
The 2021 Economic Value of Peace report estimates the global the economic impact of violence to be $14.4 trillion. To calculate this figure, peacekeeping and peacebuilding costs are included as part of the economic model.
In addition to causing suffering, interpersonal violence, social unrest and collective violence hinders productivity and economic activity, destabilises institutions and reduces business confidence. Violence disrupts the economy, resulting in adverse and ongoing negative effects even after conflict subsides.