World Risk Report 2014

World Risk Report 2014

The city as a risk area

The WorldRiskReport 2014 calculates the probability of becoming a victim of a natural disaster - as a result of an extreme natural phenomenon - for 171 countries. This year's WorldRiskReport takes a closer look at the connection between urbanisation and food security.

Keeping an eye on disaster risks

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are vulnerable to natural hazards. But where can droughts, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and rising sea levels turn into real disasters? The year 2014 was the first year in which the risk potential could be analysed separately for urban areas in 140 countries.

Debris of a factory in Dhaka: The urban risk analysis has classified Bangladesh as a risk area. ©Grossmann
Debris of a factory in Dhaka: The urban risk analysis has classified Bangladesh as a risk area. ©Grossmann
Illegal landfill in Sierra Leone. Slums and poverty lead to a fragile population and increase the risk. ©Rosenthal
Illegal landfill in Sierra Leone. Slums and poverty lead to a fragile population and increase the risk. ©Rosenthal
Oceania, Southeast Asia, Central America and the Southern Sahel are particularly threatened by disasters. ©Rosenthal
Oceania, Southeast Asia, Central America and the Southern Sahel are particularly threatened by disasters. ©Rosenthal

The 2014 WorldRiskReport calculates the probability of becoming a victim of a natural disaster - as a result of an extreme natural phenomenon - for 171 countries. According to the report, cities in Costa Rica, the Philippines, Chile, Japan and Jamaica are most at risk. A high level of risk always applies if a region is located in a natural hazard zone and is also accompanied by societal factors that can lead to high vulnerability, e.g. lack of good infrastructure or sophisticated emergency warning system.

Focus area: Urbanisation and food security

This year's WorldRiskReport takes a closer look at the connection between urbanisation and food security.

Population growth in the world’s urban areas and periphery regions, which is often accompanied by the presence of new slums, can result in enormous increases in the demand for food. The regional agricultural industry has the mammoth task of becoming not only more sustainable but also more productive. For example, a Nigerian city with four million people will require 3,000 tonnes of food a day. It means that two trucks loaded with three tonnes each have to drive to the city every three minutes. This can only be achieved with visionary urban planning. But it is precisely cities in developing and emergency countries that do not have the resources that are needed for this purpose.

Urban gardening in Liberia: From necessity to trendsetter

During the country's civil war from 1989 to 2003, many farmers from rural war regions fled to the capital city of Monrovia because it was considered relatively secure. But since these new urbanites did not have enough purchasing power to buy locally, they grew food anywhere they could – which turned out to be an excellent idea.

Welthungerhilfe is still assisting them with work implements and seed, and advises them with regard to soil cultivation and irrigation. The municipal government has recognised the importance of visionary urban planning. It is designating acceptable areas for Urban Gardening status, and thus not only counteracts the formation of slums, but also makes a contribution to survival.

Alliance Development Works, formed of the relief organisations Brot für die Welt, Christoffel-Blindenmission, Kindernothilfe, medico international, Misereor, terre des hommes and Welthungerhilfe, provides disaster and emergency aid in areas of conflict.

More About: Risks and Catastrophes

Disaster relief with planning and sense

Fast and effective aid in emergency situations

Fast aid after natural disasters and conflicts ensures the survival of the affected people. Guidelines ensure that we do it well.

What causes a tsunami?

10 years ago, a giant wave shocked the world

The 2004 tsunami claimed at least 230,000 lives. How do the giant waves originate? What role does climate change play? And how can we protect ourselves today?

The circulation of hunger and war

The circulation of hunger and war

Revolution and unrest instead of growth and development

Haiti, Kenya, Bangladesh: Hunger and violence are closely linked. Figures from the World Bank show just how closely.

A dangerous job

Kidnappings and assaults are increasingly politically motivated

Development aid workers overseas have a dangerous job. Kidnappings and assaults are often politically motivated.