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It’s a marauder’s map for international mayhem.
Thinking of doing business or pleasure abroad next year? You might want to steer clear of Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, which security experts rank among the most dangerous destinations in the world for 2021.
The “Travel Risk Map,” which was compiled by global security and medical specialists from the International SOS, assessed countries’ security levels based on 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,” per the agency’s site.
Transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the susceptibility to natural disasters were factored in as well.
“Extreme” risk countries — the highest category — entailed only 14 nations (largely spanning Africa and the Middle East): Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, along with parts of Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt.
These hazardous hot spots boasted nonexistent government control and lawlessness across large areas, “serious threat of violent attacks by armed groups targeting travelers and international assignees,” a barely functional government and transport services. Not to mention that large swathes of the countries are inaccessible to foreigners, per the study.
Meanwhile, “low” risk countries included the US, Canada and most of Europe, while Scandinavian nations constituted the highest number of “insignificant” risk nations — the safest designation.
The map also evaluated nations’ medical safety (as it pertains to work conditions) before the coronavirus pandemic with “very high” risk countries including Venezuela, Niger, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Clocking in as “low” risk were the UK, Western Europe, the US, Canada and South Africa, among others.
These ratings were based on a variety of factors, from infectious disease to burden environmental factors and the standard of emergency medical services.
Medical designations shifted post-pandemic with just four countries achieving the lowest-risk rating when it comes to business restrictions due to COVID: Tanzania, New Zealand, Nicaragua and Svalbard.
Rounding out the middle at “medium” risk for employees were the US, Brazil and India, among others, while Russia and Afghanistan ranked among the “high” risk nations.
Only one nation — Georgia — was categorized as “very high” risk, as defined by having severely restricted or even nonexistent business operations with only essential services functioning at full capacity, per the graph.
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