Casualties of conflict:
7 urgent humanitarian crises for the world to watch
WASHINGTON — Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health have released the 2020 Early Warning Forecast of regions they are monitoring for potential or worsening humanitarian crises over the coming year: Casualties of Conflict: 7 Urgent Humanitarian Crises.
Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, president & CEO, noted that “the humanitarian outlook for 2020 and beyond forecasts a situation that is both complex and insecure, even as global development gains bring millions out of extreme poverty.”
“The causes and conditions of extreme poverty are rarely limited to a single factor,” he said. “Rather, the world’s most vulnerable people live in a complex context, often in fragile or failing states, where political and social systems that might offer protection have broken down. And increasingly, the common underlying denominator is violent conflict.”
Working in these complex humanitarian contexts presents a number of challenges for international NGOs working to eliminate poverty and ease human suffering.
“We will need to employ new, imaginative and innovative approaches if we hope to make an impact,” Speckhard said. “We are going to have to build our capacity to work in conflict-ridden, hostile environments, because that’s where the extremely poor who most need assistance are going to be.
“With record numbers of refugees and the internally displaced fleeing from conflicts that are lasting longer, we will have to employ development approaches and longer-lasting solutions that include new partners, including the private sector,” he said. “And it will be vital to recognize the primacy of local partners who best know the social and political context of their communities.”
The countries on the 2020 Watch List include war-torn Yemen; the Democratic Republic of Congo, where militia violence is hindering the response to end the Ebola outbreak; a number of perils facing Central America; extremist attacks in West Africa’s Sahel; violent protests in Iraq; South Sudan, recovering from years of civil war; and the continuing crisis in Venezuela.
The 2020 Early Warning Forecast is available for download here.