Financial security is a crucial aspect of resilience when faced with natural disasters or economic shocks, as income can quickly disappear. In order to assess the economic security of individuals in each country, Lloyd’s Register Foundation conducted a research called ‘World Risk Poll 2021: A Resilient World?’ The survey, conducted in partnership with Gallup, involved 125,000 people from 121 countries and aimed to determine how long they could cover their basic needs without income.
The responses were categorized into different survival time frames, including more than 1 month, less than 1 month, less than 1 week, and those who did not know or refused to answer. The ranking of countries that could cover their needs for the longest period without income included countries like Sweden, Hong Kong, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. On the other hand, countries with the shortest time frame included Venezuela, Senegal, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Bangladesh.
This research revealed that individuals from developed countries generally had the ability to cover their needs for a longer period compared to those from developing countries, highlighting the fragility of economic security in the latter. However, the study also uncovered a more alarming statistic—the number of people in economic poverty worldwide. Shockingly, 2.7 billion people could only cover their basic needs for one month or less without income, and among them, 946 million could survive for just one week at most.
Addressing this income inequality and lack of financial security is a matter of urgency, especially in developing countries. Failing to take action in this regard not only undermines global resilience against climate change, natural disasters, and other shocks but also perpetuates the cycle of poverty. In the next and final installment of this series, the 2021 Global Risk Poll: A changed world?, the focus will shift towards exploring risk perceptions and experiences in the age of the coronavirus and examining how the world views climate change.