GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The aid organization, CARE International reports North Korea and Eritrea top the list of the 10 most underreported, forgotten humanitarian crises of 2017. The other countries include Burundi, Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Lake Chad Basin, Vietnam and Peru.
The report shines a light on tens of millions of people who are forced to suffer in silence because their plight goes under-reported and their needs go unmet. Last year, it estimates 220 million people in 37 countries were affected by the biggest humanitarian disasters in years.
Care International’s Interim Secretary General Laurie Lee said the plight of 70 millions of these people in the 10 least reported countries of emergency has been virtually ignored.
“These 10 crises affect about one third of that 220 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017. Yet, those emergencies received just two percent of the coverage. All but three of the bottom 10 reported major emergencies around the world in 2017 are in Africa. Africa is disproportionately represented on this list of 10,” said Lee.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said humanitarian crises are not confined to a specific country of emergency. He told VOA ignoring them carries many risks because they can have global consequences. He cites the case of Democratic Republic of Congo, which he calls one of the most worrisome crises.
“But, then, let us not forget that some of the neighboring countries are in a difficult situation. South Sudan borders Congo. Burundi borders Congo. So what sometimes these crises do is they latch on to each other, become regional, destabilizing and they are much more difficult to resolve at that particular stage,” said Grandi.
Care International warns 2018 is shaping up to be another grim year for millions of people beset by conflict and natural disasters. It says increased media attention can help focus public support on humanitarian crises, which operate in the shadows and are largely ignored.