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, having assigned destinations to one of five risk categories based on the threat of political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) and violent and petty crime.
Each country’s assessment also took into account the robustness of its transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters.
The lowest risk level, “Insignificant”, was assigned to only seven countries, all in Europe: Iceland, Denmark (and the Greenland Autonomous Community), 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 received the highest risk warning, “Extreme”, for safety are mainly located in Africa or the Middle East.
There are a total of 14 “extreme” risk destinations: 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 are classified as a different category from the rest of the country where the risks are different from the country’s ‘overall risk environment’, which according to International SOS usually requires a different level of preparation.
Individual maps also assess the travel impact of Covid-19 – looking at the logistical impact of the illness when traveling to a particular location, scoring higher on places with stricter entry requirements – and medical risk assessments, based on a range of health risks and mitigating factors. These include the complexities of accessing healthcare during the pandemic; infectious disease; environmental factors related to climate change; safety risk classification; medical evacuation data; standard of emergency medical services; outpatient and inpatient medical care; access to high-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 increasing risks of gang activity, including direct crime risks.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the risk rating for Johor Bahru (state of Johor) has been downgraded from medium to low after a thorough review of the security environment.