According to a new report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the top ten annual list of neglected crises is made up completely of African countries for the first time. The criteria for inclusion in the list are a lack of finance, media attention, and international political and diplomatic initiatives.
The annual list's goal is to draw attention to the conditions of individuals whose suffering rarely makes international headlines, who receive no or inadequate help, and who are never the focus of international diplomatic efforts.
The report criticizes the fact that international news organizations rarely cover the nations on the list, and that constraints on press freedom in many of the afflicted countries make it impossible for local news organizations to cover the conflicts and consequent displacements. In this post, we look at the top ten African countries with neglected crises.
1 The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
For the second year in a row, the DRC is the most neglected country on the list. The central African country has previously topped the list two times in 2020 and 2017. According to the 2022 NRC report, 19.6 million people in the DRC currently require humanitarian aid. 5.5 million people are internally displaced due to intercommunal conflicts in the country.
2 Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is experiencing an uptick in jihadi-linked violence, with more than 500,000 individuals having to evacuate their homes in 2021, increasing the total number of internally displaced persons to 1.75 million. During the first three months of the Ukraine war, an average of 85,000 English-language articles per day were written regarding the crisis in Ukraine. In comparison, during the entire year of 2021, 27,000 English articles were written regarding the Burkina Faso displacement situation.
Cameroon is still grappling with three major humanitarian crises: the Lake Chad basin conflict; the North-West and South-West conflicts; and the refugee situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). This year so far, 933,000 people have been internally displaced, and 3.9 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. Violations associated with armed groups and intercommunal conflicts have increased people’s vulnerability in Cameroon.
4 South Sudan
A protracted crisis in South Sudan has resulted in 8.3 million people requiring humanitarian aid. As of May 2022, 1.7 million people are internally displaced in the country. Hunger is also a major problem, with 1.4 million children and 483,000 women suffering from malnutrition. In addition, flooding that began in May of 2021 displaced 809,000 people.
In Chad, almost one million people have been forced to flee their homes. Insecurity caused by non-state armed groups and rising water levels have resulted in regular population displacements in Lac province. So far this year, one in every three Chadians requires humanitarian aid.
Mali is in the midst of the biggest food and nutrition crisis it has seen in a decade. Mali's food crisis is anticipated to have affected 1.8 million people as of June 2022, with the figure expected to climb by the end of the year. Due to accelerated depletion of stocks, uneven pastures, and exceptionally high prices, drought will affect more people at a faster rate.
Intercommunal conflict in West Darfur, South Darfur, and South Kordofan displaced about 56,000 people in April 2022. Conflict and poor harvests are having a substantial impact on people's access to food, with the number of people enduring acute hunger in Sudan expected to treble to more than 18 million by September 2022.
The war in north-east Nigeria, emanating from the insurgency of non-state armed groups, is as violent as ever. Millions of people have been internally displaced as a result of the attacks and insecurity, which have wreaked havoc on agricultural productivity. So far this year, 8.4 million people in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe require humanitarian assistance.
Insecurity and political persecution have resulted in 331,000 Burundian refugees living in other countries as of April 2022. To date, 122,400 Burundians have been internally displaced as a result of natural disasters. Food insecurity is also a huge concern for Burundians, and 1.8 million individuals are in need of food.
The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated due to a mix of armed conflict and climate shocks. More than one-fifth of Ethiopia's population requires humanitarian aid this year. Displacement and needs are expected to rise unless the government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) negotiate a settlement.