A new map has revealed the countries with the highest security risks for 2022.
According to global medical and security specialists International SOS, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan are among the most dangerous, which has assigned destinations one of five risk categories based on the threat posed by political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) and violent and petty crime.
The robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters were also taken into account when rating each country.
The lowest risk level, “Insignificant”, was only awarded to seven countries, all in Europe: Iceland, Denmark (and the autonomous territory of Greenland), Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Slovenia and Luxembourg.
Along with most of Europe, the UK is rated as “Low” risk, as are the US, Canada and Australia, among others.
Countries that have been given the highest risk warning, “Extreme”, for security are mainly located in Africa or the Middle East.
There are 14 “Extreme” risk destinations in total: Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, along with parts of Mozambique, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt.
Regions have been classified as a different category to the rest of the country where the risks faced are different from the country’s “overall risk environment”, usually necessitating a different level of preparation, according to International SOS.
Separate maps also assess Covid-19 Travel Impact – looking at the logistical impact of the disease in travelling to a certain location, with places that have more restrictive entry requirements receiving a higher score – and Medical Risk Ratings, based on a range of health risks and mitigating factors. These include the complexity of accessing healthcare during the pandemic; infectious disease; environmental factors linked to climate change; security risk rating; medical evacuation data; standard of emergency medical services; outpatient and inpatient medical care; access to quality pharmaceutical supplies; and cultural, language or administrative barriers.
Since last year, the travel risk rating for the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince has been raised from High to Extreme to reflect the worsening risks posed by gang activity, including direct crime risks.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the risk rating for Johor Bahru (Johor state) has been lowered from Medium to Low following a thorough review of the security environment.