Due to wars or the corona pandemic, experts expect humanitarian emergencies in many countries in the coming year. Also because conflicts have changed.
Violent conflict, climate change and the corona pandemic – due to the “triple threat” this year, experts expect humanitarian emergencies in a number of countries in 2021. This is evident from the Emergency Watchlist 2021, to be published by the aid organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) on Wednesday. It contains the 20 most vulnerable countries in the world. “The 2021 Watchlist is a wake-up call: it shows the suffering we will face if we neglect crises that need urgent international attention,” said IRC President David Miliband.
The 20 countries – including Syria, Venezuela and Nigeria – represent only about 10 percent of the world’s population, the report said. But they make up 85 percent of people in humanitarian emergencies. Such emergencies can arise and be aggravated by pandemics, destroyed economies, wars or political conflict.
Conflicts are becoming increasingly complex
As in the previous two years, Yemen is the country most at risk of a humanitarian emergency in 2021, followed by Afghanistan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. In addition, according to the report, there is a threat of famine in four of the ten most vulnerable countries, including Nigeria and Burkina Faso. “If nothing happens, the conflict could spread across borders and have further devastating humanitarian consequences,” Miliband warned.
Other findings from the report are, for example, that conflicts are becoming increasingly complex. “Today, more than ten actors are involved in one fifth of the conflicts and at least three in two thirds,” he says. This makes the provision of humanitarian aid more complicated.
The influence of foreign actors in crises is increasing
In addition, the influence of non-state armed groups is increasing. These included criminal gangs, local militias and militant groups. The influence of foreign actors in crises is also increasing. “The conflicts have become increasingly international,” he says.
With the annual list, the IRC wants to encourage leading policymakers to spend more money on emergency relief. The aid organization is also calling for more attention to people who need protection. These include refugees, displaced persons and women.