The WorldRiskIndex states the risk of disaster in consequence of extreme natural events for 180 of the world’s countries. It is calculated on a country-by-country basis through the multiplication of exposure and vulnerability. Exposure covers threats to the population and other certain protected entities due to earthquakes, cyclones, floods, droughts and sea-level rise. Vulnerability encompasses the societal sphere and is comprised of three components, which are weighted equally in the calculation:
- Susceptibility describes the structural characteristics and framework conditions of a society and indicates the likelihood of suffering from harm in an extreme natural event.
- Coping comprises various abilities of societies to be able to minimize negative impacts of natural hazards and climate change through direct action and the resources available.
- Adaptation includes measures and strategies dealing with and attempting to address the negative impacts of natural hazards and climate change in the future. Adaptation, unlike coping, is understood as a long-term process that also includes structural changes.
This edition of the WorldRiskReport focuses on water supply. Access to sufficient clean and safe water still varies widely around the world, with the poorest often having to pay the most. Water shortages do not only affect a country’s agriculture and health care, but also important development processes fall short when children are sent to fetch water instead of going to school. Extreme natural events and the effects of climate change intensify water-related problems as they push long-established water supply processes to their limits.