When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

Predicting earthquakes, floods, droughts and other assorted disasters is hardly an exact science. Still, as the just published 2012 WorldRiskReport notes, just how badly natural catastrophes hit comes down to how well prepared is the country’s government to respond.

In a risk index that includes 173 countries, experts of the Bonn-based United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU – EHS) have compiled information about not only just how at-risk these countries are but how well prepared for avoidance or minimization of the consequences of natural disaster.

According to the second annual report, the world’s most at-risk locations are the island states of Vanuatu and Tonga in the south Pacific that lie barely above sea level and could sink if it were to rise. Thirteen percent of the world’s population lives in coastal areas that lie less than 10 meters above sea level.

But while The Netherlands has the money to invest in protecting its coastline and area residents, Bangladesh (10th most at-risk nation) would be at the mercy of a catastrophe.

The report explicitly warns of the dangers of destroying natural ecosystems worldwide, which increases the risk of catastrophe. In the decade from 2002 to 2011, there were 4,130 catastrophes around the world, causing more than one million deaths and $2 trillion worth of economic damage.

New analyses show, the report says, that the situation today is more dramatic than had previously been assumed, and that the connection between environmental destruction and risk of catastrophe has been too little considered by governments. Catastrophe security should become part and parcel of all development policy, the report says.

After Vanuatu and Tonga, the most at-risk countries are the Philippines, Guatemala, Bangladesh, the Solomon Islands, Costa Rica, Cambodia, East Timor and El Salvador.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Economy

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

A customer walking along the aisle of empty shelves in a supermarket

Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ