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among those who will play critical roles in elevating violence as a priority issue for increased global attention. Increased support for global violence prevention could have far-reaching impact since violence occurs in different settings and affects different populations, with many of the different types of violence often sharing underlying risk factors and occurring in similar contexts.

There is scant scientific literature available that comprehensively reviews the harmful impact of different types of violence on a range of health outcomes in developed or developing countries. The first report to successfully attempt this was the 2002 World Health Organization (WHO) Report on Violence and Health. Despite this pioneering effort by WHO and the synergism between violence and other factors that hinder the health and well-being of populations, violence prevention has lagged behind other issues on global agendas for public health, economic development, politics, and governance in terms of the priority and resources it receives. For example, statistics show that collective violence and armed conflicts represent approximately 11 percent of deaths due to violence globally, compared to the nearly 54 percent attributed to suicide (WHO, 2002a); yet collective violence often receives a disproportionate level of attention, especially from the media.


One of the overarching messages from the workshop is that violence is costly in both human and monetary costs. In 2000, more than 1.5 million deaths globally were attributed to violence compared to other public health priorities. Of those deaths, more than half were due to suicide (about 800,000 deaths annually); 35 percent to interpersonal violence; and 11 percent to collective violence, which can include organized violence, forms of war, and gang violence (WHO, 2002a). The global distribution of deaths due to violence shows that 91 percent of this burden is disproportionately shouldered by low- and middle-income countries, compared to 9 percent by developed countries:

  • The overall economic direct and indirect costs associated with the short and the long-term consequences of violence (other than physical injury and death) are difficult to assess accurately. There is a paucity of studies on the economic costs of interpersonal and other types of violence, especially in low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2004). Innovative research, advocacy, and policy analyses are beginning to examine the critical issue of costing and economic effects to define areas in need of greater research and programmatic focus or needed advances or changes in health, public, and economic policy. It was also suggested that the inclusion of eco-

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