The International SOS Risk Map provides a comprehensive view of the risk landscape in countries around the world. New this year: climate change.
A new map to help organizations and their mobile workers better understand their global risks is now available. Via its annual interactive Risk Map 2024, security and health risk services company International SOS provides organizations with medical and security risk ratings that reflect the impact of disruptive events, such as the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas. Data-driven tools like the Risk Map can help organizations maintain their Duty of Care responsibilities as global security, medical and climate change risks continue to evolve.
This year, 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 Joint Research Centre of 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 Risk Map assesses medical, security and climate change risks on a five-level scale: from “Low” to “Very High” for the medical and climate change layers, and “Insignificant” to “Extreme” for the security layer.1
Climate change increases health risks
International SOS noted an upward trend in the number of climate-related alerts being issued to clients as rising global temperatures increase 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.
“Just one example, the extreme heat events this year, with the first ever named heatwave ‘Cerberus’ hitting Europe, may become commonplace,” commented Dr. Irene Lai, Global Medical Director at International SOS. “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.”
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, especially in 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 which employees may be traveling through or working in. It helps to better inform organizations so they are able to create tailored solutions to mitigate the specific risks that their workforces may encounter.
“For the coming year, geopolitical tensions, unrest and political instability are expected to impact business operations,” commented Sally Llewellyn, Global Security Director, at International SOS. “This is reflected in the map with the Sahel, parts of the Middle East and Ukraine in the ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ security risk category. International SOS continues to support organizations operating in these locations, including through providing verified information and advice on how such risks will affect their workforce or by supporting evacuations where needed.”
Due to new and evolving conflicts, some of the most notable risk rating increases this year have been 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.
1 Details on the different levels included in the maps and definitions for each level can be found here.