A report on costs of war in Syria predicts lose of $1.3 trillion if it will not end by 2020. It will require at least 15 years to eliminate the growth difference – concluded authors of the report “The Cost of Conflict for Children” sponsored by Frontier Economics and World Vision International.
In addition to the relatively known scale of casualties of war in Syria there is less known tragedy of lose of capital that will undermine development of economies in the Middle East in the next decades.
“The $275 billion this war has already costed the Syrian economy is lost money. It will never be recovered, never be spent to provide education, health care, safe environments, livelihoods or a future for children,” said Conny Lenneberg, Regional Leader for World Vision’s Middle East programs.
The dismal picture of the cost of the conflict in the region includes equivalent of 24.5 millions years of schooling lost in 2015, drop of life expectancy at birth by 15 years and 8.2 million of children inside Syria and through the region experiencing displacement and food insecurity and limited protection from serious harm and abuses.
Authors of the report emphasised that Syrian real GDP per capita dropped about 45 percent due to the war. “The current cost to Syria in terms of lost growth is about 150 times the Syrian health budget prior the war in 2011.” – the report said. This is equivalent of annual combined investment in public education by Germany and France or annual GDP of Portugal.
Even if conflict would end this year, what is almost impossible, the cost of the conflict will grow to $448 and $689 billion in terms of growth.
The economies of neighbouring countries have been also seriously crippled by the conflict.
According to the report due to the war Lebanon GDP per capita bottomed 23 percent lower than prior the conflict. 90 percent of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan are considered poor. Only 48 percent of children from families of refugees have access to education services.
The new report provides badly needed explanation for the waves of migrants inside of Europe and beyond in the last several months.
“This deterioration of conditions inside Syria and in neighbouring countries resulted in 2015 seeing the highest numbers of Syrian refugees undertaking risky journeys towards Europe.” – said report.
Just over 10 per cent of those who have fled the conflict since its beginning have sought safety in Europe, with 813,599 asylum applications made between April 2011 and April 2015.11
“This new research is another way of demonstrating the urgency with which the international community must mobilise its collective diplomatic influence to end this conflict once and for all,” said Fran Charles, World Vision’s Syria Crisis Response Advocacy Director, “It will take decades for Syria to recover. We need peace now so we can start planning for the enormous task of the reconstruction and long-term investment Syria will need to get back on its feet.”