For the first time, International SOS has added climate change to its country risk level assessments around the world, along with medical and security threats. Jenny Southan reports

Security and health risk services company, International SOS, has released its interactive Risk Map 2024, which has been designed to help companies and business travellers better understand the risks they face when travelling abroad.

The Risk Map highlights medical and security change risk ratings reflecting the impact of disruptive events, such as the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas.

The safest places to visit in 2024:

  • Iceland
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark

For the first time, the Risk Map also includes a layer that also flags climate change risks. Compiled by INFORM (a collaboration between the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Joint Research Centre of European Commission), the data provides quantified estimates of the impacts of climate change on the future risk of humanitarian crises and disasters.

This risk index is intended to inform policy choices across climate mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance for greater resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The 2024 Risk Map can be used as a tool to build a comprehensive view of the risk landscape around the world, better enabling companies to fulfil their duty of care responsibilities.

Climate change increases health risks

International SOS is seeing a rising trend in the number of climate-related alerts being issued to clients as rising global temperatures are increasing health risks such as air pollution and wildfires around the world.

Greater support has been requested by businesses on this issue. There were 80 per cent more medical alerts issued by International SOS relating to climate change factors in 2023 compared to 2022. This statistic highlights just how significant the issue is to businesses and their leaders.

Dr Irene Lai, global medical director at International SOS, says: “Extreme heat events, with the first-ever named heatwave ‘Cerberus’ hitting Europe [in 2023], may become commonplace.

“In addition to the physical impacts of extreme heat, there can be significant negative effects on mental health. It is essential businesses plan for this, adapting our way of living and working to protect health, while also taking steps to slow and eventually reverse the trend in rising temperatures.”

In terms of climate risks, some of the riskiest countries to visit are Mali, Chad, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Syria, followed by Mexico, Brazil, India and the Philippines.WILDFIRE

Geopolitical risks continue to dominate global security concerns

The Risk Map also provides a better understanding of the wider security situation in countries which employees may be travelling through or working in. It helps to better inform organisations so they are able to create tailored solutions to mitigate the specific risks that their workforces may encounter.

Sally Llewellyn, global security director, at International SOS, says: “For the coming year, geopolitical tensions, unrest and political instability are expected to impact business operations.

“This is reflected in the map with the Sahel, parts of the Middle East and Ukraine in the ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ security risk category. International SOS continues to support organisations operating in these locations, including through providing verified information and advice on how such risks will affect their workforce or by supporting evacuations where needed.”

Due to new and evolving conflicts, some of the most notable risk rating increases this year have been parts of Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Russia and across the Sahel. Ecuador and parts of Colombia have also increased following a consistent rise in criminality and unrest.

In some regions, the risk rating has decreased. Most notably, the risk ratings for El Salvador and parts of Nepal have reduced following sustained downward trends across a number of risk factors.

Changes to medical risk continue to vary across countries and regions. Two notable improvements in medical risk this year are Bolivia and Côte d’Ivoire, largely based on the gradual improvement in access to quality medical care, particularly in the major cities.

The Risk Map is an important risk management tool, which assesses medical, security and climate change risks on a five-level scale – from “Low” to “Very High” for the medical and climate change layers, and “Insignificant” to “Extreme” for the security layer.


  1. Syria
  2. Iraq
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Yemen
  5. North Korea
  6. Palestinian Territories
  7. Haiti
  8. Libya
  9. Niger
  10. Burkina Faso


  1. Syria
  2. Iraq
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Yemen
  5. Chad
  6. Niger
  7. Mali
  8. Nigeria
  9. Central African Republic
  10. South Sudan


  1. Ukraine
  2. Syria
  3. Iraq
  4. Afghanistan
  5. Libya
  6. Yemen
  7. South Sudan
  8. Central African Republic
  9. Somalia