For the first time, the top 10 list of neglected displacement crises is comprised entirely of African countries, according to a new report by Norwegian Refugee Council.
The annual list of neglected displacement crises is based on lack of funding, lack of media attention and lack of international political and diplomatic initiatives.
The Democratic Republic of Congo was named the world’s most neglected displacement, followed by Burkina Faso, Cameroon and South Sudan, Chad, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi and Ethiopia.
The northeastern part of the DR Congo has been plagued by intercommunal tensions and conflict, with a dramatic increase in attacks on displacement camps since November.
According to the report, 5.5 million people are currently displaced within the country and food insecurity has reached the highest level ever recorded, with a third of the population going hungry.
“That the world’s most neglected crises are all in Africa points to the chronic failure of decision makers, donors and the media to address conflict and human suffering on this continent,” said Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “With the all-absorbing war in Europe’s Ukraine, I fear African suffering will be pushed further into the shadows.”
Egeland said DR Congo has become a textbook example of neglect. “It is one of the worst humanitarian crises of this century, yet those inside and outside of Africa with power to create change are closing their eyes to the waves of brutal and targeted attacks on civilians that shatter communities,” he said.
The Norwegian Refugee Council report found the aid provided to DR Congo last year equaled less than $1 a week per person in need, and the humanitarian appeal was less than half funded. This left aid workers with impossible decisions as to what and whom to prioritize.
In Burkina Faso, more than 500,000 people were forced to flee their homes last year, bringing the total number of internally displaced to 1.75 million.
The report said despite the large spike in people fleeing their homes, the displacement crisis received substantially less media coverage during the year than the amount the war in Ukraine received on an average day during the first three months of the conflict, the report said.
“The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the immense gap between what is possible when the international community rallies behind a crisis, and the daily reality for millions of people suffering in silence within these crises on the African continent the world has chosen to ignore,” Egeland said. ”The speed at which the UN, the EU and other international partners acted in response to the war in Ukraine should inspire the same urgency for solutions and support to the most neglected crises of our time.”