World military spending rose 1 percent in 2015, the first annual increase in four years, a Stockholm think tank said. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said military expenditure nudged up to almost $1.7 trillion last year, with the United States accounting for by far the greatest amount despite its spending dipping 2.4 percent to $596 billion.
China was the second largest spender for the second year in a row with spending up 7.4 percent to $215 billion, while Saudi Arabia passed Russia to take third place and Britain came fifth.
SIPRI said military expenditure amounted to 2.3 percent of global gross domestic product–and 10 percent of this would be enough to fund the global goals agreed upon by United Nations’ 193 member states in September to end poverty and hunger by 2030.
U.N. figures show an estimated 800 million people live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger, with fragile and conflict-torn states experiencing the highest poverty rates.