Aid organisation CARE International today issued a new report highlighting the top ten most underreported humanitarian crises of 2016.
The report, Suffering in Silence, features food crises in Eritrea, Madagascar, North Korea and Papua New Guinea; conflicts in Burundi, Lake Chad Basin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan and last year’s monsoon floods in Bangladesh.
“There are many disasters around the world that rarely make it into the news,” said Philippe Guiton, CARE International’s Humanitarian and Operations Director.
“With this report CARE aims to shine the spotlight on those humanitarian crises that have been neglected or eclipsed by others grabbing the world’s attention.”
CARE International researched more than 30 natural disasters and ongoing conflicts that affected at least one million people and analysed how often they were mentioned in online news articles. More than 250,000 online news sources were monitored.
Media attention and fundraising for humanitarian causes are closely intertwined, which is often referred to as the ‘CNN effect’.
“The media has the power to set agendas, hold politicians to account and help raise crucial funds to deliver aid,” Mr Guiton said.
“At the same time, politicians must not act solely based on political interests. Politicians prefer to focus their attention on the most visible emergencies to show their constituencies they are acting. Many of the humanitarian crises in this report are not simply forgotten, they are wilfully ignored and neglected by world leaders.”
In 2017, the world faces conflicts that are raging longer and longer. Poor families have to cope with typhoons, droughts and floods that are becoming stronger and happen more frequently. The UN estimates $22.2 billion will be required to help the 92 million in urgent need of humanitarian aid in 2017.
“Most of these crises will continue to need our support beyond 2017. Every day, families across the world live in constant fear for their survival as bombs are dropping in their neighbourhood, as floods or drought destroy their fields and kill their cattle, as brutal attacks force them to leave their homes. They deserve their stories being told”, Mr Guiton said.
Donate to CARE’s Global Emergency Fund at care.org.au/emergency or call 1800 DONATE (1800 020 046)
Note to editors: Using the media monitoring services of Meltwater Group, CARE analysed those natural disasters or conflicts that received the least media attention in 2016. More than 250,000 global online sources were monitored in English, French and German. To filter according to scale, we chose countries in which at least one million people are affected by natural or man-made disasters. The result is a list of over 30 crises that we analysed and ranked by the number of articles mentioning each, starting with the one that received the fewest articles.