WorldRiskReport 2021 – Focus: Social protection – World


Focused on social protection, the new WorldRiskReport is published today.

Berlin, September 15, 2021. Focused on social protection, the new WorldRiskReport is published today and presented by Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) at Ruhr University Bochum. The Covid-19 pandemic, wildfires and floods have recently shown how crucial social protection against existential risks is.

Social protection systems help to mitigate the consequences of extreme natural events and make societies more resilient to crises. In addition to formal, often state-run protection systems, informal protection systems make an important contribution. Peter Mucke, Project Manager of WorldRiskReport and Managing Director of Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft, points out: “From health and accident insurance to neighborhood assistance, the social protection mechanisms available are varied. We often only realize the importance of protective measures when crises threaten to have dramatic consequences. So far, however, only a minority of the world’s population has access to social protection systems, this needs to change urgently.

Beyond direct disaster protection, social protection systems have a positive impact on other social challenges. “Social protection and the fight against hunger, poverty, social inequality and climate change go hand in hand. The future German government must focus more on social protection and take an international lead if it wants to be taken seriously in times of growing pandemics and climate extremes,” says Peter Mucke.

A central element of the WorldRiskReport is the WorldRiskIndex, which has been calculated by the IFHV since 2018. The index indicates the risk of an extreme natural event resulting in a disaster for 181 countries. The tropical island state of Vanuatu has the highest disaster risk, followed by the Solomon Islands and Tonga. “The consequences of climate change pose a huge threat to island states. In addition to increasing extreme weather, rising sea levels increase their risk,” says Dr Katrin Radtke, lead scientist of the report. A total of ten island states are represented among the 15 countries with the highest disaster risk. Germany ranks 161st with very low disaster risk.

The WorldRiskIndex calculation includes exposure to extreme natural events and societal vulnerability. The WorldRiskIndex considers earthquakes, cyclones, droughts, floods and sea level rise as extreme natural events. Nearly 99% of the world’s population is included in the country analysis. This year, in addition to the WorldRiskIndex, the report includes an index on the state of social protection for high-risk countries. Dr Katrin Radtke explains: “In West Africa in particular, there are major social protection gaps and a great need for action. People with special protection needs, such as children, the elderly or people with disabilities, rarely have access to the state. It also makes them particularly vulnerable to extreme natural events.

Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft is formed by the aid organizations Brot für die Welt, Christoffel-Blindenmission, DAHW, Kindernothilfe, medico international, Misereor, Plan International, terre des hommes, Welthungerhilfe and the associated members German Doctors and Oxfam. In crisis and disaster contexts, member organizations provide short-term relief as well as long-term support to overcome poverty and prevent further crises.

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organizations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. He fights for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since its creation in 1962, more than 10,369 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported to the tune of 4.2 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of self-help aid: from rapid disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organizations.

Simone Jar
team communication
+49 (0)172 2525 962

Joel C. Hicks