One additional year of civil war in an ESCWA member country causes a decline in per-capita GDP of about 17.5 per cent, which is marginally higher than in other countries. It also causes development indicators to return to the levels of 5 to 10 years ago. Most of the adverse effect of civil and inter-State wars on income is transmitted through weaker institutions, international trade disruption, and decline in investment and physical capital accumulation. Those are some of the conclusions that have been reached by this study.
This study explores the relationship between conflict and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), reviews the status of MDG attainment in conflict-affected countries in the ESCWA region, namely Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, the Sudan and Yemen, and assesses the development costs of conflict. The study presents arguments for “pro-MDG” budgets in conflict or fragile countries despite significant financial constraints and competing interests, including the need to ensure security. It suggests that with adequate political willpower and institutional and economic capacities, budgetary realignments in favour of developmental goals can be undertaken even with no rise in expenditures.