Extreme natural events, such as floods, storms, or earthquakes, remote communities more vulnerable and increase the probability of forced displacement and migration
Millions of people around the globe are affected by natural disasters each year. Extreme natural events, such as floods, storms, or earthquakes, remote communities more vulnerable and increase the probability of forced displacement and migration. In addition to the natural disasters, the lack of coping and adaptive capabilities from authorities magnifies the risks associated with the affected communities becoming more susceptible to experiencing serious consequences in the aftermath of a disastrous event.
Having in mind the connection between the occurred disaster and the authorities’ ability to intervene and mitigate its consequences, DevelopmentAid’s article brings an overview of the TOP-10 countries that are safe to live in if a natural disaster occurs.
How is the risk measured around the world?
There are several methodologies to estimate the risks around the world. One of them – the WorldRiskReport (WRR) is an annual paper prepared by the Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft (and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV), which aims “to highlight the links between natural events, climate change, development and preparedness at a global level and to draw future-oriented conclusions regarding relief measures, policies and reporting”. At the foundation of WRR is the WorldRiskIndex (WRI) which uses a total of 27 indicators grouped into five different components to rank 181 countries based on the risk of disaster those face. The five components that shape the classification of the countries and regions in the WRR are:
- Hazard/Exposure – refers to the exposure of a particular community or area to the effects of one or more natural hazards;
- Vulnerability – encompasses the socio-economic, infrastructural, and environmental factors that contribute to the exposure of a community or area to the effects of natural hazards;
- Susceptibility – refers to the probability of a community or area suffering from the aftermath of a natural event due to the aspects of public infrastructure or socio-economic conditions (e.g., poverty, malnutrition);
- Coping capacities – represent the community’s abilities to deal with the effects of a natural disaster, minimize negative impacts, and speed up recovery. For the purposes of WRI, the opposite value is used and specifically the lack of coping capacities;
- Adaptive capacities – reflect the long-term strategies used by countries to adapt to the (re)occurring natural hazards and deal with the negative effects more efficiently (e.g., strategies used by the Netherlands to deal with the rise of the sea levels).
The 2020 WorldRiskReport
The causes and forms of the risks for natural disasters are various but geographically concentrated. Those can relate to droughts, floods, earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, and sea-level rise. According to the 2020 WorldRiskReport, the majority of the hotspot regions are located in Oceania, South-East Asia, Central America and West, and Central Africa, while Europe presents the lowest disaster risk.
Here are the top 10 countries that are safe from natural disasters based on the
Qatar – is the country with the lowest disaster risk in 2020 – 0.31 (“0” being the best score). It registered a low score for the exposure (0.91) and susceptibility (8.32) indicators; however, it shows a relatively high score related to the lack of adaptive capacities (64.58);
Malta – comes in as the second safest country to live in showing an overall score of 0.66. It scored low on the exposure (2.26) and susceptibility (14.91) indicators, but relatively high on the lack of adaptive capacities (51.67);
St. Vincent and the Grenadines – this country in the southern Caribbean region scored the third-lowest score related to the disaster risk (0.80). Nonetheless, it also registered relatively high scores on the vulnerability (43.79) and susceptibility (28.20) indicators;
Grenada – is another Caribbean country that shows a low overall score (0.97). However, it also scored high on vulnerability (43.80) and the lack of coping capacities (35.67);
Saudi Arabia – has an overall score of only 1.04 due to the low exposure (2.89) and susceptibility (13.62); however, it shows a relatively high score related to the lack of adaptive capacities (64.58);
Barbados – with an overall score of just 1.39, this Caribbean enjoys low exposure (3.66) and susceptibility (20.56), but a relatively high score on the lack of adaptive capacities (60.62);
Iceland – this Nordic country has an overall score of 1.69 influenced by good scores on all five components;
Egypt – has an overall score of only 1.78 due to the low exposure (3.72) to natural hazards. Nonetheless, it also scores moderately to high on the other 4 dimensions;
Finland – with an overall score of 1.96, Finland has the highest rate of exposure (8.22) to natural hazards from the list of top 10 countries. Nonetheless, it shows good scores for the other four dimensions;
Estonia – closes the top 10 countries safe from natural hazards with an overall score of 2.03. All five dimensions present good standings.
Source: By Ion Ilasco: https://www.developmentaid.org