Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have a dev- astating impact on the lives of civilians around the world.
They kill thousands every year, inflict desperate physical injuries, and spread fear and disruption across affected communities. IEDs are used by armed actors globally, and have proved to be effective against even the most advanced of mili- taries. IED attacks block life-saving humanitarian aid, close down markets, schools and hospitals, and hinder the political, social and economic development of a country.
From 2011 to 2013 AOAV recorded that 53,008 civilians in 66 countries and territories were killed and injured by IEDs. They made up 81% of the total number of IED casualties. Where IEDs are used in populated areas, a staggering 91% of those killed and injured were civilians.
The threat of IED attack is a global problem. In recent years their impacts were most acutely felt in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Nigeria.1
Part of the reason that IEDs are so prevalent is
the fact that they are cheap and relatively easy to make. They can be made from a whole range of materials, from everyday objects found in the home to commercial explosives used in construction and mining. Military weapons left in unsecured stock- piles, susceptible to looting during times of armed violence and regime changes, can equally be used to make these deadly weapons.
In Material Harm, AOAV will examine the sources of IED materials and what is being done to restrict the flow of IED materials globally.
Accessing bomb-making materials is just one step in carrying out an IED attack. Counter-IED measures must also target financial networks behind insurgents, seek to disrupt the passing on of bomb-making knowledge, and attempt to intervene in the planning and carrying out of IED attacks. While acknowledging, though, the multifactoral approach to combating IED harm, this report will only focus on efforts to disrupt the proliferation of IED-making materials.
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