Picture: 123RF/MARCOS CALVO MESA
Picture: 123RF/MARCOS CALVO MESA

SA is the 37th most peaceful country in Sub-Saharan Africa‚ according to this year’s global peace index (GPI)‚ released on June 12.

The country dropped two places compared with the 2018 report. In the global ranking‚ SA comes 127th. Two countries notorious for gang violence are ranked more peaceful: El Salvador at 113th and Honduras at 123rd.

The index is released annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace‚ a Sydney-based think-tank that analyses the economic costs of violence. The survey is based on statistics from various UN organs‚ the Economist Intelligence Unit, and numerous other international bodies.

It measures a wide range of weighted factors, including violent crime‚ political instability‚ policing and external conflict. It boils these down into three “major factors”: militarisation; safety and security; and domestic and international conflict. It then gives each country a score of one to five‚ with five being the most severe.

The leading country this year — as it has been every year since 2008 — is Iceland‚ with scores of 1.0‚ 1.1‚ and 1.0 for each of the above factors, respectively. The bottom three nations listed were South Sudan at 161‚ Syria at 162, and Afghanistan at 163.

Meanwhile‚ the report’s special section on climate and peace highlighted that about 400-million people live in countries at risk of climate disasters (such as droughts and torrential rain) and with peace ratings that are already low. It notes that “climate change can indirectly increase the likelihood of violent conflict through its impacts on resource availability‚ livelihood security and migration.”

The report also stated that “Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa are the two regions most vulnerable to climate-induced security risks due to a high risk of exposure to natural hazards.”

Globally‚ the world is sad‚ stressed and worried. The report found that feelings of sadness‚ worry and stress have increased by a combined average of 8%.

The most significant increases were seen in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa had the greatest increase in stress‚ increasing 18% from 2008 to 2018.