Cost of ten year Syrian war hits US$1.2 trillion says new World Vision report

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  • Additional US$1.7 trillion economic cost even if war ended today, through to 2035.
  • Life expectancy of Syrian children reduced by 13 years due to violence, limited access to essential services.  
Children playing with toys near their tent at a displacement camp in Northwest Syria. Photo: Courtesy of World Vision partners
(March 04, 2021)
The economic cost of the 10 year conflict in Syria now exceeds US$1.2 trillion, and even if the war ended today, the cost would climb by an additional US$1.7 trillion through to 2035, according to a new report launched today by international aid agency World Vision in partnership with Frontier Economics.  

The ‘Too high a price to pay: the cost of conflict for Syria’s children’ report examines the overall impact of the ten year war on both Syria’s economic growth (in GDP), and on its human capital, with a specific focus on Syria’s children. The findings reveal the immense effect on children resulting from ongoing violence, forced displacement and limited access to education and health services. The report concludes that an entire generation has been completely disrupted, compromising Syria’s recovery and economic growth, once the war ends.

“The war in Syria has been a decade of disaster,” says Michael Messenger, President & CEO of World Vision Canada. “While the world has stood by and allowed this conflict to rage on, millions of children have been caught in the crosshairs. Children continue to be killed, ripped from their homes, robbed of their rights and denied essential services like healthcare and education. Lasting peace is now the only viable solution and the international community must do everything in their power to make this happen before more young lives are cut short.”

“Children come to us on a daily basis in Syria, hungry, cold and deeply distressed by what they have witnessed and experienced,” says Johan Mooij, World Vision Syria Response Director. “Boys and girls aged five or six can name every type of bomb by its sound, but sometimes can barely write their name, having missed out on the chance of an education. We cannot let them remain trapped in this cycle of violence. We must stop the war and the shadow pandemic of violence against children before it is too late.”  

  • More than US$1.2 trillion, in cumulative economic cost of conflict in Syria after 10 years. 
  • Additional US$1.7 trillion cost from negative impacts on children’s health and education.
  • US$19.4 billion in total humanitarian aid to Syria, only 1.6% of total economic cost.
  • Life expectancy of Syrian children reduced by 13 years. Violence and grave violations will have direct and long-term impacts on child survival and psychosocial well-being, significantly contributing to the overall socio-economic cost to Syria.