Cambodia Gains Ground in Latest Peace Index

Cambodia improved its performance in this year’s Global Peace Index, climbing seven places from last year to reach 106 out of the 162 countries ranked in the study. The improvement is relative, though, with the impact of violence having cost an estimated $1.5 billion.

The Institute for Economics and Peace’s annual Global Peace Index analyzes domestic and international conflict, militarization and security issues, and estimates the economic impact on countries of dealing with the consequences of violence.

According to the report, violence in Cambodia is estimated to have cost the country $1.5 billion in 2013, which represents 3.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, about $100 per person, equivalent to the monthly minimum wage for a garment factory worker.

Though Cambodia ranks a lowly 106, the per capita cost of dealing with violence is minimal compared to developed countries such as Australia, which performed far better in the rankings but took a much greater economic hit—$40 billion, or $1,760 per person—even taking into consideration its significantly higher per-capita GDP.

“The cost of violence containment in Cambodia is relatively low, with spend as a percentage of GDP and per capita both well below the international average,” Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the IEP, said in a press release.

“At an estimated $1.5 billion, violence containment spend is in the lowest 30 percent of all 162 countries,” he said.

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