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COVID-19 fallout hampers progress on other threats: WEF



Economic and social deposition from COVID-19 will make it more difficult to address a range of key threats from climate change to cyberattacks, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report 2021, published on Tuesday.

While the WEF has been warning of pandemic risk for 15 years, 2020 saw the effects of ignoring preparations and long-term risks, the report found.

The report, based on a survey of more than 650 risk experts, found that approximately 58% of respondents consider infectious diseases to be a critical threat over the next two years.

Livelihood crises, extreme weather events, digital inequality and the disillusionment of young people are among the critical threats, the report found.

Threats of particular concern over the next three to five years include asset bubble bursts, IT infrastructure fragmentation and price instability, while mass disruption, state collapse and loss of biodiversity lead the list of long-term risks, the report found.

Environmental risks continue to dominate concerns about impact and probability over the next decade, according to the report, which WEF produced in collaboration with strategic partners Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.

“The biggest long-term risk is still a failure to act on climate change. There is no vaccine against climate risks, so post-pandemic recovery plans must focus on growth in line with sustainability agendas to better rebuild, "said Peter Giger, Zurich Insurance Group's Group Chief Risk Officer, in a WEF statement accompanying the report. [1

9659002] The report found that the five biggest risks in terms of probability are:

· Extreme weather

· Climate action failed

· Human environmental damage

· Infectious diseases

· Loss of biodiversity

The five main risks in terms of impact are:

· Infectious diseases

· Climate change crime

· Weapons of mass destruction

· Loss of biodiversity

· Natural resource crises

COVID-19 will profoundly affect how organizations interact with customers and employees long after vaccine development, Carolina Klint, Head of Risk Management, Continental Europe, March sh LLC, said in the statement.

"Rapid digitalisation exponentially increases cyber exposures, supply chain disruptions radically change business models, and an increase in serious health problems has followed employees' transition to teleworking," said Klint.

With the world more at risk, there is an opportunity to "take advantage of and find more effective ways to identify and communicate risks to decision-makers, "the report said.

Lessons from COVID-19 offer an opportunity to mitigate, including positioning "risk masters" before "frenzy of the next crisis", the report states.

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