NU Online News Service, April 25, 1:13 p.m. EDT
The world has become statistically less stable with civil unrest downgraded in 37 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, in light of European austerity measures and spending cuts.
Meanwhile, six countries including Australia, Egypt, the Netherlands, and Macedonia were upgraded to a safer status.
Aon’s terrorism and political violence map, published within Aon’s annual risk assessment, points out the highest global-stress points for the risk of human violence that could affect a mass amount of people. The three threats measured are terrorism and sabotage; strikes, riots, civil commotion and malicious damage; and insurrection, revolution, rebellion, mutiny, coup d’etat, civil and international war. Aon’s ratings were based on the Terrorism Tracker and WorldAware databases, which weighed the frequency and severity of violent activity that could disrupt businesses.
Regarding the shift in Europe, managing director of Aon Risk Advisory, David Claridge, states, “For the first time since the map’s inception, we have recorded significant negative ratings in Western Europe that reflect civil disorder in economies traditionally seen as stable. With further austerity measures still to be imposed and the Eurozone crisis only in remission, economic and social degradation are likely to be important drivers of future unrest.”
Almost half of all evaluated countries possessed a risk of terrorism incidents, as regional groups are still active after al-Qaida had lost its leader, Osama bin Laden. The greatest risk regions are South Asia and the Middle East, while the African continent shows the greatest shift in the possibility of an occurrence. Northeast Africa, including Egypt, Libya, Chad, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, possessed risk of all three perils.
Claridge says, “The Arab Spring features heavily in our assessments, both for its contribution to civil unrest, and also as post-uprising states fail to guarantee local and regional security. Weapons proliferation and unchecked growth of radical groups in Libya,Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula are of particular concern.”
The United States received a “low” risk rating, although it is in danger of terrorism and sabotage. Directly to the south, Mexico has a “high” risk of terrorism, strikes, riots, civil and malicious damage.
In developing economies, Brazil and China may experience civil unrest, while India is at a high risk for all factors.
According to a statement by Neil Henderson, head of terrorism in Aon Risk Solution’s Crisis Management Practice, “Businesses need to identify the threats they face and implement a comprehensive risk-management program to protect themselves. As the insurance market for political violence is very mature and can cope with complex international risks, it should be considered as part of a business’ sound risk-management program.”
Aon currently offers three terrorism insurance plans to protect business supply chains.