Qatar faces the lowest risk of natural disasters worldwide, according to a new United Nations report that examines 173 countries.
The tiny Gulf country, which ties with Malta, appears to enjoy the status largely because of its strategic location away from “disaster risk hotspots,” including Oceania in Southeast Asia, the 2012 World Risk report states.
Islands are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, with Vanuatu, Tonga and the Philippines ranked in the top three spots for most at risk.
But social development also plays a role in whether natural hazards can turn into disasters, the report, produced jointly with the Nature Conservancy, said.
In addition to exposure to the elements and social vulnerability, the countries were ranked on three other main characteristics:
- Susceptibility, which includes factors like poverty and infrastructure;
- Lack of coping capacities, including the level of corruption in government, the strength of social networks and medical services; and
- Lack of adaptive capacities, which factor in literacy, gender equity and water resources.
The results of the report come at a good time for Qatar, which is hosting a UN summit on Climate Change next month, where the role of climate in disaster risk reduction will be discussed.
Read the full report here:
Credit: Photo by Cesar Harada