The first few months of 2021 have seen a rise in crime and violent crime, as well as civil unrest in many countries. There was more recorded civil unrest incidents in than USA than any other country. Myanmar and Iraq were second and third, followed by India.
Risk of civil unrest in the USA
In the USA, we saw the conviction of former police officer, Derek Chauvin. In August we will see the trial of several other USA police officers in the USA. Most of the recorded civil unrest incidents in the USA are related to racial justice protests. Future police incidents involving the killing of people-of-colour are likely to lead to immediate protest and civil unrest. Political disagreement continues despite the appointment of President Biden. Despite most of the protests being peaceful, businesses should expect some limited instances of property damage, and disruptions to operations or supply chains.
Political risks in Lebanon
In Lebanon, protests that began in 2019 have continued unabated, and despite the changeover of three Prime Ministers, the political situation has not improved, or changed. The massive blast in August 2020 injured thousands of people, displaced hundreds of thousands, and lefts hundreds of people dead. The legacy of political corruption is to blame and led to skyrocketing inflation and lack of essential supplies. Protests are now wider and more frequent, and sometimes more violent. The situation in Lebanon is unlikely to improve in the coming months. National interest, economic reforms, and development are required for an improvement of risk trends in Lebanon, but this is unlikely to occur. This week, another civil society took aim at the political class in Lebanon. This time it was corruption allegations against the Central Bank Governor of Lebanon.
The tourism sector in Lebanon, which accounted for 20 percent of GDP, has largely paused for the last year amid political, economic, and public health challenges, with 50 percent of tourist-related businesses closing. At the time when many Lebanese would be celebrating Ramadan with generous Iftars, many are simply surviving on simple meals as the cost of food continues to rise, with food inflation at 400 percent year-on-year. Hezbollah has apparently expanded its food support systems as well as importing additional medicines and fuel to support the country.
High impact risks impacting global business operations
Business must be secure and resilient to emerging risks. Whether it is the impact of long-term wars in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Yemen, and Syria; or Crime in Nigeria, USA, South Africa, or Mexico, the impacts on business operations in these and neighbouring countries is significant. Whilst terrorism continues to draw the attention of many, most terrorist incidents continue to occur in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, India, Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia, and Mozambique. The majority of terrorists still utilize firearms, and improvised explosive devices. Considering how these risk trends may impact your operations, suppliers, partners, consumers, and employees is a critical component in your enterprise risk management activities.