In 2018, the number of people killed by acts of terrorism stood at 15,952, globally, and that is a 15.2 per cent decrease, indicating an improvement for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released today November 20, 2019 by the Institute of Economics and Peace (EIP).
The Index now in its seventh year; indicates that deaths from terrorism fell for the fourth consecutive year, after peaking in 2014.
“The number of deaths has now decreased by 52 per cent since 2014, falling from 33,555 to 15,952,” it said.
The most impacted countries in the world are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan, the Index says.
On the impact of terrorism on the global economic, the Index states that the global economic impact was $33 billion in 2018, a decrease of 38 per cent from the previous year.
The Index indicating that the fall in terrorism has also been accompanied by a reduction in the global economic impact of terrorism, decreasing by 38 per cent to $33 billion in 2018, compared to other forms of violence such as homicide, armed conflict, and military expenditure, terrorism is a small percentage of the total global cost of violence, which was equal to $14.1 trillion in 2018.
“However, the true economic impact of terrorism is likely to be much higher as these figures do not account for the indirect impacts on business, investment, and the costs associated with security agencies in countering terrorism,” the Index said.
Noting that the total number of deaths fell by over 15 per cent in 2018, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Somalia on the back of the defeat of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and US-led airstrikes on Al-Shabaab, the Index says the fall in deaths was also reflected in country scores, with 98 countries improving compared to 40 that deteriorated.
This is the highest number of countries to record a year-on-year improvement since 2004, it says, adding that, however, whilst the GTI finds that the intensity of terrorism has declined, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread and increasing, with 71 countries suffering from at least one death.
“This is the second highest number since the beginning of the century,” it states.
The Index also found that the Taliban has overtaken ISIL as the deadliest terrorist group in the world, recording 71 per cent increase in terrorism deaths. The Taliban, the Index says, was responsible for 38 per cent of all terrorist deaths globally in 2018.
Explaining the findings, Steve Killelea, the Executive Chairman of IEP, says: “IEP’s research finds that conflict and state sponsored terror are the key causes of terrorism. In 2018, over 95 per cent of deaths from terrorism were occurring in countries that were already in conflict. When combined with countries with high levels of political terror the number jumps to over 99 per cent. Of the 10 countries most impacted by terrorism*, all were involved in at least one violent conflict last year.”
“The collapse of ISIL in Syria and Iraq was one of the factors allowing Western Europe to record its lowest number of incidents since 2012, with no deaths attributed to the group in 2018. However, the situation still remains volatile, with large parts of Syria being contested and many smaller groups sympathetic to ISIL philosophies being active, leaving the possibility of further Islamist attacks in Europe,” Killilea adds.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi