Wars Cost Africa $300 Billion in 15 Years: Report
October 11, 2007
According to a new study, civil wars and conflicts during the 15-year period ending in 2005 cost Africa some $300 billion. "This is equal to the amount of money received in international aid during the same period," said the report.
"Africa's Missing Billions" -- prepared by Oxfam International, the International Action Network on Small Arms, and Saferworld -- is the first study to attempt to quantify the effect of war on Africa's gross domestic product in recent years. It found that 23 countries, or nearly half of Africa's 53 nations, were involved in armed conflict between 1990 and 2005.
"Our figures are almost certainly an under-estimate, but they show conflicts costing African economies an average of $18 billion a year," said Irungu Houghton, Oxfam's African policy advisor. "This money could solve the HIV/AIDS crisis, prevent TB and malaria, or provide clean water, sanitation and education."
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose country was devastated by 14 years of war ending in 2003, wrote in the report's foreword: "At this critical time for reaching agreement on tough international controls on the arms trade ... it is essential that all governments understand the economic costs of armed violence and the impact that cost has on development. This is money Africa can ill afford to lose. The sums are appalling."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.