As an industry-first, climate change risk levels present in countries around the world have been added to the annual update to the International SOS Risk Map
Mumbai, 14 Dec 2023 – The world’s leading security and health risk services company, International SOS, is today releasing its annual interactive Risk Map 2024. The map has been designed to help organisations and their mobile workers better understand their global risks. The Risk Map 2024 provides organisations with underlying medical and security risk ratings reflecting the impact of disruptive events, such as the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas. Using data-driven tools, such as this Risk Map, can help organisations maintain their Duty of Care responsibilities as global security, medical and climate change risks continue to evolve.
For the first time, the Risk Map includes a layer which also outlines climate change risks. Compiled by INFORM (a collaboration between the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission), the data provides quantified estimates of the impacts of climate change on the future risk of humanitarian crises and disasters. This risk index is intended to inform policy choices across climate mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance for greater resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.
The 2024 Risk Map can be used as a tool to build a comprehensive view of the risk landscape around the world.
Climate change increases health risks
International SOS is seeing a rising trend in the number of climate-related alerts being issued to clients as rising global temperatures are increasing health risks around the world. Greater support has been requested by businesses on this issue. 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.
Dr Vikram Vora, Medical Director for the Indian subcontinent at International SOS comments, “Heat waves have been worsening with each passing year and this year raised an alarm that we may approach the human limits of survivability by mid-century. While the physical impact of extreme heat on outdoor workers and vulnerable populations is obvious, the not-so-visible damage to mental health is expected to affect people across all age groups. While organisations have been trying to reduce the impact of their actions on the environment, it has now become crucial for them to protect their people from the health and wellbeing consequences of climate change.”
Changes to medical risk continue to vary across countries and regions. Two notable improvements in medical risk this year are Bolivia and Côte d’Ivoire, largely based on the gradual improvement in access to quality medical care, particularly in the major cities.
Geopolitical risks continue to dominate global security concerns
The Risk Map also provides a better understanding of the wider security situation in countries in which employees may be travelling or working. It helps to inform organisations better so they can create tailored solutions to mitigate the specific risks that their workforces may encounter.
Udit Mehta, Executive Vice President & Director of Operations for International SOS comments, “The year 2024 is likely to be marked by increased global geopolitical tensions, continued instability and persistent conflict in areas impacted in the past year. As such the need for organizations to ably map the risk would be critical for the sustenance of operations and shall need to be substantiated by consistent expert-led coverage for both situational information & analysis and on-ground support pivoted on the principles of pre-emption and prevention.”
Due to new and evolving conflicts, some of the most notable risk rating increases this year have been in parts of Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Russia and across the Sahel. Ecuador and parts of Colombia have also increased following a consistent rise in criminality and unrest. In some regions, the risk rating has decreased. Most notably, the risk ratings for El Salvador and parts of Nepal have reduced following sustained downward trends across a number of risk factors.