Armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa are not only devastating the economies gripped by fighting, but are sapping growth in neighboring countries and those hosting millions of refugees, the International Monetary Fund said Friday.
In a new study analyzing 179 conflict countries since 1970 to quantify economic costs, the IMF found that the drops in economic output in war-torn Syria, Libya and Yemen in recent years have far exceeded the worldwide average.
After five years of war, Syria’s gross domestic product is less than half its pre-conflict level in 2010, while Yemen lost 25 percent to 35 percent of its GDP in 2015 alone. Oil-dependent Libya saw its GDP fall 24 percent in 2014, the IMF said.
After three years of conflict, Middle Eastern and North African countries wracked by fighting suffered average GDP losses of 6-15 percentage points, compared to a 4-9 percentage-point average worldwide, according to the study.