Economic cost of global terrorism reaches record high $52.9b in 2014

JihadistsThe economic cost of terrorism to the world has reached its highest yet – a record $52.90 billion in 2014 – according to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, representing an increase of 20 billion (60.69 per cent) from $32.92 billion in 2013.

The figure is rivalled only by a global cost of $51.51 billion in 2001.

The costs comprise the direct and indirect costs of loss of life, destruction of property and losses from ransom payments.

Similarly, deaths from terrorism across the world, increased by 80 per cent from 18,111 in 2013, to a record high 32,658 deaths.

Boko Haram and ISIL alone were jointly responsible for 51 per cent of the global fatalities in 2014.

The terrorism index report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank based in Sydney, says terrorism remains concentrated in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

While there were 13,370 terrorist attacks in 93 countries, 78 per cent of the 32,658 deaths and 57 per cent of the attacks occurred in just these five countries.

Among the five, Nigeria experienced the largest increase in terrorist activity with 7,512 deaths in 2014, an increase of over 300 per cent since 2013.

The country has gradually moved from a rank of 12th out of 162 in 2010, to 3rd in 2014 and experienced 662 recorded incidents with 7,512 deaths and 2,246 injuries.

“It has been estimated that FDI flows dropped $6.1 billion in 2010 due to Boko Haram.This represents a decline of almost 30 per cent from the previous fiscal year,” the report says of Nigeria.

It however adds that there is no uniform relationship across countries on the negative economic effects of terrorism and that there is no significant association between the terrorism index and foreign direct investment or gross domestic product.

The Global Terrorism Report was compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, using a database by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at Maryland University.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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