Leading security and health risk services company, International SOS, published its annual interactive Risk Map for 2024. The map provides organizations with underlying medical and security risk ratings reflecting the impact of disruptive events such as the wars in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas.

In the “security” category, countries are rated on a scale of “insignificant” to “extreme” with Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Somalia all holding spots in the latter rating.

There was an increase in security risk in parts of Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Russia, and across the Sahel, as well as crime and unrest in Ecuador and parts of Colombia, but a decrease in El Salvador and parts of Nepal.

In the “medical” category, rated from “very low” to “very high”,  countries at the top of the list included Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, North Korea, the Palestinian Territories, Haiti, Libya, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Burundi, and Somalia.

However, for the first time, the map features an additional category outlining climate change risks (also rated from “very low” to “very high”). The data gathered by INFORM – a collaboration between the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Joint Research Centre of European Commission- provides quantified estimates of the impacts of climate change on the future risk of humanitarian crises and disasters.

The report noted a rise in climate-related alerts issued around the world, mentioning that “There were 80% more medical alerts issued by International SOS relating to climate change factors in 2023 compared to 2022. This statistic highlights just how significant the issue is to businesses and their leaders.”

Global Medical Director at International SOS Dr Irene Lai comments, “Just one example, the extreme heat events this year, with the first ever named heatwave “Cerberus” hitting Europe, may become commonplace. In addition to the physical impacts of extreme heat, there can be significant negative effects on mental health. It is essential businesses plan for this, adapting our way of living and working to protect health, while also taking steps to slow and eventually reverse the trend in rising temperatures.”

Countries facing “very high” climate change risks include Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Chad, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique.

Greece, in turn, ranked “low” on all three risk categories.