Worldview Wednesday: Natural Disasters and Government Aid

Worldview Wednesday: Natural Disasters and Government Aid

A global look at natural disasters and international relief aid!

First, we take a look at the most common natural disasters worldwide.

Floods are far and away the most common natural disaster that people have to contend with.

Source: 1

Next, we look at what countries most commonly deal with weather related disasters.


The Unites States, China, India and the Philippines are the 4 nations where the most natural disasters occur.

Source: 1

Another issue when it comes to natural disasters is a country’s level of risk. The map below shows what countries are the highest risk for danger when it comes to natural disasters (hot pink is the highest, light green is the lowest).

The United States has a lower risk index, even though it deals with a higher number of natural disasters.  The countries with the biggest risk are the lower income countries that do not have the economy and the infrastructure to handle a disaster.

Source: 2

Finally when it comes to aid, there are a lot of variables regarding how much money gets donated to a country.  The biggest factors are how big of a natural disaster occurs (meaning number of people impacted and injuries/deaths), the relationship that country has with other countries, and the media coverage of the event. 


In terms of global aid donations – the chart below shows the countries who give the most foreign aid money.

However, the list below shows the countries’ foreign aid that is the highest percentage of their national income.

Sweden has the highest percentage of their gross national income going to foreign aid at 1.41%.  

The United States gives only 0.16% of their gross national income to foreign aid.

Source: 3 and 4

Join us tomorrow to see how you can help those affected by natural disasters on Take Action Thursday!

Looking to catch up?  Click the links below!


1: Wahlstrom, Margareta, and Debarati Guha-Sapir. The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters 1995-2015. UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

2: Garschagen, Matthias, Michael Hagenlocher, et. al. World Risk Report 2016. Berlin, Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and UNU-EHS, 25 Aug. 2016, Accessed 19Sept. 2017.

3: Becerra, Oscar, et al. Foreign Aid in the Aftermath of Large Natural Disasters. Inter-American Development Bank, Aug. 2012, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

4:  Myers, Joe. “Foreign aid: These countries are the most generous.” World Economic Forum, 19 Aug. 2016, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.