The latest Global Peace Index has a new least peaceful country, assessed on metrics like political instability and deaths from conflict.
- President Donald Trump took a swipe Chicago while visiting it on Monday, saying the city — a longtime target of his — was more dangerous than Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan was rated the least peaceful country in the world in 2019, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace's Global Peace Index.
- Each country's score is based on several factors, including political instability and deaths from conflict.
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President Donald Trump took a swipe at Chicago's crime rates during a gathering of the International Chiefs of Police in the city on Monday, saying "Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison," Politico reports.
Trump has often railed against Chicago, calling it crime-infested because of its sanctuary-city status and as a way to say that the city's gun laws aren't effective.
But nationwide, crime has been going down, Trump himself pointed out on Monday — including in Chicago.
In fact, The Wall Street Journal, citing statistics for the city, reported on Monday that Chicago's murder rate was down 11% so far this year, compared the same period last year. The city's 413 murders so far this year is high compared to other US cities, but it's nowhere near the brutality and scale of violence in Afghanistan.
In 2018, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, 3,804 civilians were killed in conflict, including 927 children. In recent months, terrorist attacks by both the Taliban and ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) have brutalized Afghans and horrified the international community.
The IEP, which develops methods to "analyse peace and to quantify its economic value," has released the GPI annually since 2007. The index measures the peacefulness of 162 countries by rating each one on 23 qualitative and quantitative metrics — such as deaths from conflict, violent crime, and access to weapons — which are divided into three categories.
In 2019, overall global peacefulness increased for the first time in five years, but the world is still less peaceful than it was 10 years ago, the report says. This year, Afghanistan replaced Syria as the least peaceful country in the world.
Russia makes the top 10 list of least peaceful countries.
Russia has one of the highest per capita rates of weapons exports, according to the report, and is highly militarized, which partially explains its rank on this list.
Its engagement in the Syrian conflict increased the country's number of deaths from external conflict, and overall approval of its leadership declined from 35% to just over 30% from 2008 to 2018.
It is the least peaceful country in its region, according to the report.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is at high risk for severe flooding, contributing to the likelihood of future conflict.
Violence in the DRC is interfering with health workers' ability to treat the country's most recent Ebola outbreak, which has claimed 1,396 lives in that country, according to the World Health Organization.
Gangs and militia groups attack healthcare facilities, killing a Cameroonian doctor working to control the outbreak earlier this year.
Rising violence in Libya, coupled with its high risk for flooding, make it the eighth-least peaceful country in the world.
Violence in the Central African Republic costs the country approximately 47% of its GDP.
Seleka rebels and Anti-Balaka militia members continue to clash in the Central African Republic, pushing the country into chaos and creating an internally displaced population of 620,000, with 570,000 refugees headed to neighboring countries like Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to Reuters.
Somalia is at significant risk for drought, making the country more prone to conflict.
In 2018, Iraq saw a decrease in state-backed violence and in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons as a percentage of its population.
Still, Iraq deals with significant conflict, both internal and external. The are still remnants of ISIS, despite its official defeat, in part because divisions in Iraq's security forces have undercut efforts to eliminate the group.
Yemen remains the site of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, as it is still locked in a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
South Sudan's ongoing conflict, as well as its high risk for climate disaster, contribute to its placement in the GPI.
Syria's conflicts place it high on the list, although it is no longer the least peaceful country.
Syria is now GPI's second least peaceful country in the world. The GPI cites ISIS' defeat in the town of Baghuz earlier this year as key to moving the country from the first spot to the second.
Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world, according to the index.
Afghanistan was designated the least peaceful country in the world by the GPI in 2019, supplanting Syria.
Violence in Afghanistan cost it 47% of its GDP, and the ongoing conflict killed 3,804 people last year, including 927 children — the highest number ever in the country, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
Afghan citizens feel 20% less safe than they did in 2008, according to the GPI. Confidence in the country's military has fallen by more than 31 percentage points since 2013.