A report says conflict in the Middle East has cost $12 trillion.
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Monday, January 26, 2009
A recent study has revealed that armed conflicts in the Middle East have cost the region a staggering USD 12 trillion over the past 20 years.
The fourteen digit figure was released as part of a study conducted by the Indian Strategic Foresight Group and financed by various research groups around the world, Reuters reported.
The study suggests that the figure explains just how critical peace can be in stimulating growth in the Middle East, especially at a time of economic slowdown throughout the world.
"The choice they have to make is the choice between the danger of devastation and the promise of peace," said Strategic Foresight Group President Sundeep Waslekar, who took part in the study.
"Considering the enormity of the costs evidenced in this report which have direct or indirect negative consequences for the whole world, the urgent necessity of a stronger international engagement is inescapable," senior Swiss diplomat Thomas Greminger, who also contributed to the study, said.
The research focused on the devastating effect of the region's most recent military venture -- Israel's 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of 1,330 Palestinians, wounded 5,000 and left thousands homeless. According to data released by Tel Aviv, 12 Israeli soldiers and three civilians were also killed in the conflict.
According to the study's figures and analyses, Middle Easterners are now half as rich as they would have been if there had been peace since 1991.
The study says next year's per capita income in Israel would have been USD 44,000 in the absence of Israel's military campaign, almost twice as much as the expected USD 23,304.
As for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it says the figure could be USD 2,427 instead of USD 1,220.
Next year's income per head in Iraq is projected at USD 2,375, one quarter of the USD 9,681 that would have been possible if that there had been peace during the past 20 years.
In the Middle East, which stretches from Iran in the east to Egypt in the west, Israel has fought the most wars. During its 60-year-old history Israel has taken part in nine armed conflicts.