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The Most Underreported 2023 Crises – All in Africa: CARE Report

Breaking the Silence, a report by CARE International on the ten most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2023, concludes that – for the second year in a row – all ten were in Africa. The report contrasts the number of stories devoted to each crisis with media mentions for four stories that grabbed huge headlines throughout the year – Taylor Swift’s world tour, Prince Harry’s book Spare, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film, and the iPhone 15.

“From conflict in Angola to climate change in Zimbabwe, every entry in this report represents countless human tragedies taking place in the shadows of the world’s gaze,”  CARE concludes.

The calculations of overlooked crises does not include several countries where large-scale disasters are taking a toll,  including Sudan, where conflict between warring armies has left some 28 million people in need of assistance , according to Concerned Worldwide; the Democractic Republic of the Congo, where an estimated 27 milion people need assistalnce after decades of conflict and increased violence in 2023;  Ethiopia, where lingering conflict, disease, the ongoing impact of climate change and the spread of famine in the Tigre region have left come 20 million in need of assistance; and South Sudan, where 13.6 million people need some form of assistance due to ceaseless conflict and the ravages caused by climate change and a largely disfunctional public health sytem.

“In a world where news cycles are becoming more short-lived, it is more important than ever that we collectively remember that every crisis, whether forgotten or not, brings with it a human toll,” the CARE report says in a statement applicable to all Africa’s overlooked disasters. 

The CARE list of underreported includes:

  • Angola: Landmines and hunger
  • Zambia: Between drought and floods
  • Burundi: Refugees and hunger
  • Senegal: Heat brings hunger
  • Mauritania: Drought, floods and instability
  • Central African Republic: Violence and poverty
  • Cameroon: Climate crisis and conflict
  • Burkina Faso: Violence and displacement
  • Uganda: Poverty and climate change
  • Zimbabwe: Hunger and disease

Africa: CARE Report – “Breaking the Silence”: Top Ten Humanitarian Crises That Didn’t Make Headlines in 2023

CARE

Breaking the Silence: CARE International Report on the 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2023

14 January 2024

Care (Atlanta) press release

  • All ten forgotten crises are in Africa 
  • 300 million people will need humanitarian aid in 2024 – almost half of them in Africa

In 2023, there were 273,421 articles published about the iPhone, 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 (found here) 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 Deepmala Mahla, Global Humanitarian Director of CARE.

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 impacted by the consequences of climate change. But only 1,371 online articles were written about the crisis in Zambia in 2023.

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. Last year, only 35 percent of the required financial resources were provided for humanitarian aid, which is definitely not enough,” said Mahla.

Ten humanitarian crises that did not make the headlines in 2023

  1. Angola – 7.3 million people with humanitarian needs
  2. Zambia – 1.35 million people have too little to eat
  3. Burundi – 5.6 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition
  4. Senegal – 1.4 million people affected by food insecurity
  5. Mauritania – One in four people live in poverty
  6. Central African Republic – Sixth highest child mortality rate in the world
  7. Cameroon – One in six people with humanitarian needs
  8. Burkina Faso – 8.8 million people live below the poverty line
  9. Uganda – Maternal mortality rate is 284 per 100,000 live births
  10. Zimbabwe – Almost 8 million people affected by extreme poverty

Methodology

For the eighth time in a row, the international media monitoring service Meltwater examined five million online articles in Arabic, German, English, French and Spanish for CARE in the period from January 1 to September 30, 2023. From a list of 48 humanitarian crises affecting more than one million people, the ten crises with the lowest media presence were identified.

About CARE

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls. Equipped with the proper resources, women and girls have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. This year, CARE and partners worked in 111 countries implementing 1,600 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid projects and initiatives that reached 174,000,000 people. To learn more, visit www.care.org

For media inquiries, please contact: usa.media@care.org

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