Africa is home to 9 of 10 most-neglected crises across the globe, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Wednesday.
According to the NRC report, the 10 most neglected crises are in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Venezuela, Mali, South Sudan, Nigeria, Central African Republic, and Niger.
The countries listed above are experiencing terror attacks, internal conflicts, or anti-government protests.
“The deep crises represented by millions of displaced Africans are yet again the most underfunded, ignored and deprioritized in the world,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the NRC, said.
“They are plagued by diplomatic and political paralysis, weak aid operations, and little media attention. Despite facing a tornado of emergencies, their SOS calls for help fall on deaf ears,” Egeland added.
The report said humanitarian crises in these countries are expected to worsen throughout 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 is spreading across Africa, and many of the most neglected communities are already devastated by the economic shocks of the pandemic,” said Egeland.
For the second year in a row, dire straits in Cameroon topped the list as the most neglected crisis in the world in 2019, according to the NRC.
Cameroon was followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Venezuela, Mali, South Sudan, Nigeria, Central African Republic, and Niger.
Cameroon has been marred by protests since 2016, with residents in English-speaking regions saying they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.
Violence in the Anglophone regions over the last three years has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and caused the displacement of over 730,000 civilians, according to the Human Rights Watch, an international NGO based in New York.
Underfunded aid appeals
The NRC said Africa’s Sahel Region saw extreme violence this year, “yet with massively underfunded aid appeals. Niger and Burkina Faso appeared on the list for the first time.”
Last month, the UN said prolonged crises and widespread violence in Nigeria’s Lake Chad region and Sahel Africa could fuel a humanitarian challenge for 24 million people, with half of them children.
“Violence in many parts of Africa has not stopped because of COVID-19. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, and South Sudan, families continue to be forcibly uprooted, fueling already-dire displacement crises now complicated by COVID-19,” Patrick Youssef, the incoming regional director of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa, told Anadolu Agency via an email.
“Our teams every day see the resilience of displaced families to carve out a living after losing everything to conflict, but now they face a crisis on top of a crisis.
“Physical distancing is impossible. Running water, soap and medical care are often hard to come by. And the rising price effect of COVID-19 hits empty stomachs hard. Violence and COVID-19 are a tragic combination for far too many,” Youssef said.
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