The number of deaths might be reducing but terrorism is costing the global economy billions of dollars each year

Oliver Gill
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Terrorism is costing Iraq nearly a fifth of its GDP each year (Source: Getty)

Terrorism cost the global economy an eye-watering $90bn during 2015 according to a report by a leading global think tank.

The Institute for Economics and Peace today produced its Global Terrorism Index, which revealed the impact terrorism is having on the world's finances.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Iraq was proportionally the worst hit by terrorism financially. The cost of managing the problem totalled 17 per cent of the country's GDP.

The number of people killed as a result of terrorism in 2015 fell by 10 per cent to 29,376. However, the report revealed that there were a third less deaths in two of the terrorism hotspots identified: Iraq and Nigeria.

“This year’s report highlights the most complex set of dynamics in global terrorism in the last 16 years," said Steve Killelea, executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace.

While on the one hand the reduction in deaths is positive, the continued intensification of terrorism in some countries and its spread to new ones is a cause for serious concern and underscores the fluid nature of modern terrorist activity.

The attacks in the heartland of western democracies underscore the need for fast paced and tailored responses to the evolution of these organisations.

Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan rounded off the top five countries worst affected by terrorism. These regions alone made up 72 per cent of all deaths around the world during the year.

The report highlighted that Isis tactics had led to a huge increase in the number of deaths across Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. 21 of the 34 OECD countries had experienced at least one attack and the fatalities had increased by 650 per cent.

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Countries such a France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark experienced the most terrorist deaths since the turn of the millennium. And Isis were responsible for over half of the deaths in OECD countries

"Military operations are clearly contributing towards restraining Isis in Iraq, but the continued appeal of the organisation, evident in the Isis-inspired attacks in Europe, demonstrates the limitations of a purely military approach," said Killelea.

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