Press Release

New report shows Syria war costs US$275 billion

As the war in Syria approaches its five year mark on March 15, the cost of the crisis to Syria is estimated at US$275 billion in lost growth opportunities, according to a new report released by aid agency World Vision. And with life expectancy reduced by 15 years, only 43 per cent of Syrian hospitals functional, and one in every four schools closed by the war, the human cost of this economic loss to a generation of young Syrians is massive.

The report, The Cost of Conflict for Children, a collaboration between World Vision and the Europe-based economic consultancy Frontier Economics, evaluates the economic losses to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to date and into the future.

The report reveals that the conflict has cost Syria an estimated US$275 billion in lost growth opportunities. The cost of conflict is measured by deriving actual and benchmark growth rates and applying them to 2010 GDP figures (the year before the conflict began).

The report finds that the real GDP per capita in Syria is around 45% lower than it would have been in the absence of a conflict, while in neighbouring Lebanon, real GDP per capita is nearly 23% lower than it would have been in the absence of conflict.

''The US$275 billion this war has already cost the Syrian economy is lost money. It will never be recovered, never be spent to provide education, health care, safe environments, livelihoods or a future for children,'' said Conny Lenneberg, Regional Leader for World Vision’s Middle East programmes.

The report estimates that if the conflict continues to 2020, the cost to Syria will be a staggering US$1.3 trillion.

''This new research is another way of demonstrating the urgency with which the international community must mobilise its collective diplomatic influence to end this conflict once and for all,'' said Fran Charles, World Vision’s Syria Crisis Response Advocacy Director.

''It will take decades for Syria to recover. We need peace now so we can start planning for the enormous task of the reconstruction and long-term investment Syria will need to get back on its feet.''

Key figures:

  • The cost of conflict to Syria to date is an estimated US$275 billion
  • One in every four schools in Syria is damaged, destroyed or used to shelter displaced people, and 5.7 million children inside Syria are in need of education assistance
  • Estimated life expectancy at birth in Syria has dropped by 15 years during the five year span of the conflict
  • Among the countries in the region, Lebanon has been the most affected of the Syrian conflict. Real GDP per capita is nearly 23% lower than it would have been in the Syrian conflict
  • Turkey has spent over 7 billion Euro of its own money supporting the Syrian refugee community since the start of the conflict
  • 90% of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are considered poor
  • Only 48% of Syrian refugee children are able to access education opportunities

World Vision is on the ground in Syria and surrounding countries providing food, health assistance, education, cash assistance, protection for children, clean water, sanitation and items to help families through the harsh winter. World Vision has assisted approximately 2.37 million refugees, internally displaced people and vulnerable host community members affected by the Syrian crisis since 2011. Click here to find out more about our work and how you can help.

World Vision Hong Kong will be holding the third annual ''Run for Syrian Children'' event on March 13. Come join us to show your love and support for the Syrian children and families.

Click here to view the full report.

Published on 9 Mar 2016

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