Middle East & North Africa
According to the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), over the last 30 years about 37 million people in the Arab region have been affected by droughts, earthquakes, floods and storms, whilst Arab economies lost US$20 billion during the same period.
There are earthquake prone areas in North Africa and the Jordanian Valley. Floods are also a common hazard and have been occurring more frequently in recent years.
The Middle-East and North Africa has, for many years, been the scene of numerous political conflicts, the Arab Spring, allegedly provoked by an incident where a young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, had set fire to himself in protest after police confiscated the fruit and vegetables he was selling from a street stall, the most recent.
Thousands have died as a result of the spread of the uprisings and of the Arab, Israeli intafada, in the Ethiopian and Somalian civil wars and in the regional conflict centred on Iraq.
Today the region features highly on the FCO's list of countries where it issues travel advisories.