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Global security – international crisis situations as a risk for businesses

At least 140 million people have been left in need of humanitarian aid this year alone.

Most of them, however, did not and will not get it. Perfect breeding grounds for further destabilization of public order and global security.

The global list of catastrophes, natural or manmade, was just recently amended to include heavy monsoon rains in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal leaving 40 million affected. In a region as such, where public infrastructure is hardly existent anyway, the poorest must not dare to hope for coordinated help.

While the catastrophe as such of course also affects travelers and expats directly, besides the local population, crisis situations in combination with existing social tensions often act catalyzing for crime and violence.

In the aftermath of catastrophes failures of governments and authorities become visible in an especially drastic manner. Hence, frustration regarding these failures combined with grief and anger about the loss of family, friends and property can lead to violent actions. If and to what extent these circumstances lead to violence, however also depends on various other factors. A crucial aspect is for example how well opposition groups and other non-state actors are organized and how long a potential power vacuum can exist and thus be used by these groups.

Local population, however, does not pose the major risk after catastrophes, quite the opposite, help and solidarity often prevail. Often external groups with a criminal or terroristic background attempt to take advantage of disasters. Their aim is influence on a local scale as a basis for long term positions of power.

How situations develop in the aftermath of catastrophes depends on various factors and is impossible to predict or estimate. Hence, being pro-active with regards to trips in affected areas is crucial. These precautions should include the mitigation of risks arising from catastrophes directly as well as risks arising from the developing situation.

Sources: Guardian, Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen

Picture: Taifun-Nothilfe Philippinen 2013 by medico international (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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