The most dangerous countries in the world for expats

AfghanistanThere are many reasons why expats choose to live in what most people would call dangerous places with the most common being work. Oil companies, private contractors and security organisations all operate in the world’s most volatile regions, places where a hostile business takeover includes rebel militias with assault weapons rather than plain old office intrigue.

The reason why some expats choose to endanger themselves vary but the most common reason has to be danger pay, a bonus added to your pay check for risking your neck for your job, it could also just be the risk and excitement of operating in such hostile areas.

According to ControlRisks and iJet the following countries attract many foreigners every year. In Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, for example there are thousands of people from Europe, Africa, China all living in the city. The Enormous, up-for-grabs infrastructure and mining contracts being the main draw for foreigners willing to risk their lives for a big payday.

So just which countries are the most dangerous? We take a look at just a few.

1.       Afghanistan

The Afghan conflict has been raging for over ten years and with no victory in sight for Western forces they have decided to withdraw. By 2015 the number of NATO soldiers in the country will be dramatically reduced and the Afghan forces will take over. As with Iraq most expats are in the country as contractors which unfortunately make them prime targets for the Taliban. Executions and hostage taking are common.

2.       Iraq

The Iraq war may be over as far as the USA and UK are concerned but in actuality conflict and violence continue to be daily occurrences in the war torn nation. Many expats living in the country are there as contractors or as security personnel. With large oil reserves it has also drawn in big companies as well as becoming the target of terrorists. Bombings and sectarian violence is still rife in the country.

Westerners in particular must take big precautions when operating in the country as kidnapping and hostage taking is relatively common.

3.       Somalia

The African country has suffered from two decades of civil war, famine and saw the rise of piracy off of its shores. The region is still rife with conflict and is incredibly dangerous for expats working as contractors in the country. There is some light at the end of the tunnel however as the rate of piracy has decreased a lot due to international action and the country now has a government which is beginning to drive back the rebels and reclaim the country.

4.       Yemen

Yemen has a surprisingly large expat community but kidnappings and the threat of terrorist attack is very high. Fortunately many of the international company’s operating in the country takes extreme measures to protect their staff. They hire private security as well as establishing compounds and safe zones for their workers. The country has been fighting Al-Qaeda fighters for years and has suffered several losses of territory as a result.

5.       Pakistan

Parts of Pakistan are not safe for Westerners. Islamic extremism is rife in the country with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda having a strong presence in the border regions. The situation has improved slightly in recent years but the threat of terrorism and violence is still very high.  Adding to the dangers is the disputed region of Kashmir which has seen many kidnappings of western aid workers and border clashes with India.


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