World Risk Index 2020
World Risk Index 2020 released stated that all south Asian countries fared poorly on strengthening their abilities to prepare and adapt to extreme events.
• The WRI is calculated on a country-by-country basis, through the multiplication of exposure and vulnerability.
• The WRI, released annually since 2011, indicates which countries are in the greatest need to strengthen measures for coping with and adapting to extreme natural events.
• The WRI is part of the World Risk Report 2020 released by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and BundnisEntwicklungHilft, in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
• The index showed that Oceania was the continent most at risk, followed by Africa and the Americas. Vanuatu was the country with the highest disaster risk worldwide. It was followed by Tonga and Dominica.
• Small island states, especially in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, were disproportionately represented among high-risk countries, due to their high exposure to extreme natural events. These also included countries at risk from the rise in sea level as a result of global warming.
• The report identified Africa as a hotspot of vulnerability. More than two-thirds of the most vulnerable countries in the world were located on the continent.
• The Central African Republic was the most vulnerable country, followed by Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Guinea-Bissau.
• India is ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters.
• India ranked 89th among 181 countries on the WRI 2020. The country was fourth-most-at- risk in south Asia on the index, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives fared better than India in their abilities to cope with extreme disasters.
• India also lagged behind these three neighbours in terms of lack of adaptive capacities or the preparedness to deal with extreme events.
• India and other south Asian nations did improve their ranking marginally in the World Risk Index during the course of a year.
• But all south Asian countries had slipped on their ability to adapt to the reality of climate emergency, a comparison with the World Risk Index, 2019 showed.
• India also slipped on strengthening adaptive capacities. This is worrying given that the country’s first comprehensive climate change assessment report has set alarm bells ringing about the impacts of ‘climate crisis’.
• Countries with a score above 52.73, were ‘very poor’ in their capacities to adapt to extreme natural disasters.
• Hence, all south Asian countries fared poorly in the 2020 index (as compared to 2019) on strengthening their abilities to prepare and adapt to extreme events.