Lest We Forget: Civilian Casualties of War

Although it is difficult to estimate the number of civilians killed due to war what is not difficult to realise is that they are usually forgotten when we ‘remember’ the fallen.

We remember those sacrificed on the battlefield but ignore the civilians bombed, shot, gassed and starved in equal or greater numbers1.

This does not take into account the fact that the money spent on the military every year (1739 billion in 20172). This compares with $30billion needed to end world hunger3.

1 Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_casualty_ratio) gives estimates of 42-49% for WW1 and 60-67% in WW2.

2 Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2017, SPIRI (https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/sipri_fs_1805_milex_2017.pdf)

3 UN says solving food crisis could cost $30 billion, New York Times, 2008 (https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/news/04iht-04food.13446176.html)


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