Bringing science and development together through original news and analysis

  • Afghanistan tops disaster risk league

Afghanistan, Chad, Eritrea, Niger and Sierra Leone are the top five most vulnerable countries to natural disasters, according to a new global disaster risk index launched by the UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

The World Risk Index aims to help donors and aid organisations understand why some countries are at a higher risk than others and to help them shape their responses to disasters, according to IRIN.

It is unique in defining risk as the interaction between a natural hazard and the vulnerability of a particular community, Jrn Birkmann, scientific head of the project claimed.

It does this by looking at four key factors: exposure to natural hazards; likelihood of societies and ecosystems of being damaged; their capacity to cope through good governance, disaster preparedness and early warning systems; and their adaptation strategies.

The index covered 173 countries for which data was available and it was used to calculate risks for the World Risk Report 2011, published last week (2 September) by UNU-EHS and the Alliance Development Works a consortium of five, German non-governmental organisations.

Other countries among the top 15 most vulnerable are Burundi, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Togo.

Link to full article in IRIN

Link to World Risk Report 2011 [10.9MB]

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.