Ukraine, Afghanistan and Yemen have been named among the countries which this year faced the most extreme security risks in a new global report.
International SOS, a health and security services firm, has released a global map grading countries on the levels of security and health risks posed in each nation.
Syria, Iraq and the Gaza Strip were listed among the areas of extreme risk.
The UAE was said to have a low risk rating when it came to health and security issues, the map index showed.
“The security risk rating evaluates the threat posed to employees by political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) as well as violent and petty crime,” read a statement on the International SOS website.
“Other factors, such as 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 are also considered where they are of sufficient magnitude to impact the overall risk environment for employees.”
An extreme risk rating was given to nations and regions where government control and law and order was deemed to be minimal or non-existent across large areas.
Other factors included a “serious threat of violent attacks by armed groups targeting travellers and international assignees”.
Large parts of a country being inaccessible to foreigners was also a major part of determining a nation’s ranking on the map.
Countries in the extreme risk bracket included Libya, Mali, South Sudan and Somalia.
Ukraine conflict a major cause for concern
Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in late February, was also among the most dangerous places in the world on the map index.
The situation there will continue to be a major issue for global peace and security, said an International SOS risk report released this month.
“The Russia/Ukraine conflict was the defining security issue of 2022, highlighting how geopolitics and the threat of interstate conflict are back on the corporate risk agenda,” read the report.
“The conflict will certainly still have an impact in 2023, so it is beneficial for organisations to learn how to effectively handle the shifting global risk environment.
“Geopolitical volatility will also spread beyond Russia/Ukraine in the next 12 months, as increasing fissures between Russia and the West will impact other conflicts and exacerbate longstanding geopolitical tensions.”
Tensions between the US and China were also tipped to be in major focus next year.
Another trend emerging was a state of “perma-crisis”, in which many organisations found themselves due to a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising geopolitical tension.
“Many crisis management teams are learning to deal with a state of ‘perma-crisis’,” read the report.
“It will be beneficial for organisations in 2023 to provide the correct level of training, investment and support for these teams, as experts have drawn attention to significantly high levels of crisis management fatigue.
“Managing crisis management fatigue is key in moving from ‘perma-crisis’ to crisis resilience and organisations who effectively embedded learnings from the last two years will emerge with more robust capabilities to manage challenges.”
The ranking of low risk is awarded to nations where violent crime rates are low. Racial, sectarian or political violence or civil unrest is also uncommon in these regions.
If terrorism is a threat in countries with low security risk ratings it is said groups have limited operational capabilities, and acts of terrorism are rare.
This is down to security and emergency services being effective within a sound infrastructure, according to the report, which also said protest action or transport disruptions were rare in these areas.