• English
  • 日本語
  • France
  • Deutschland
  • Italy
  • España
  • Slovenia

Breaking the Silence: Ten humanitarian crises that didn’t make headlines in 2023

Guest content
19 January 2024

For the second year in a row, all ten of the most under-reported crises are in Africa, reports CARE International in their latest report on the world's forgotten humanitarian crises. 

In 2023, there were 273,279 online articles worldwide about the new Barbie movie, but only 1,049 articles about the humanitarian crisis in Angola. Yet, more than seven million people have been affected by droughts, floods, and hunger in the Southern African country.  

Angola is once again number one among the top ten forgotten humanitarian crises that received the least media attention last year. For the eighth time, leading humanitarian organization CARE is publishing its "Breaking the Silence" report to draw attention to these forgotten crises.

Global humanitarian needs have never been greater than in 2023. This was reflected in international media reporting as the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, the war in Ukraine, and the escalating conflict in the Middle East have dominated the headlines. Many crises in Africa have existed for a long time which makes it challenging to raise awareness, while international reporting is becoming more expensive, 

said Andrea Barschdorf-Hager, Managing Director of CARE Austria. 

Conflicts and climate crisis increase hunger in Africa

All ten forgotten crises are in Africa. In Zambia, second on the list, 1.35 million people are affected by hunger. Zambia is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change. While there were over one quarter of a million articles about the new iPhone 15, there were just 1,371 online articles in 2023 about the crisis in Zambia. 

Burundi, third on the list, also regularly experiences climate related disasters, such as flooding. Almost 70,000 people have been displaced as a result. Malnutrition is a major problem in Burundi, especially among children. 

"According to the United Nations, around 300 million people worldwide will need humanitarian aid in 2024 - almost half of them in Africa." 

We must not forget that hunger is almost always man-made. Conflicts, economic shocks, extreme weather, poverty, and inequality are key drivers. To save lives, we need more attention and sufficient funding for humanitarian aid,

added Deepmala Mahla, Global Humanitarian Director of CARE. 

Ten humanitarian crises that did not make the headlines in 2023: 

  1. Angola – 7.3 million people with humanitarian needs 

  1. Zambia – 1.35 million people have too little to eat 

  1. Burundi – 5.6 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition 

  1. Senegal – 1.4 million people affected by food insecurity 

  1. Mauritania – One in four people live in poverty 

  1. Central African Republic – Sixth highest child mortality rate in the world 

  1. Cameroon – One in six people with humanitarian needs 

  1. Burkina Faso – 8.8 million people live below the poverty line 

  1. Uganda – Maternal mortality rate is 284 per 100,000 live births 

  1. Zimbabwe – Almost 8 million people affected by extreme poverty

Read the full report

Original source: CARE International

Image credit: Some rights reserved by UN Women Asia & the Pacific, flickr creative commons