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The World’s Most Neglected Displacement Crises

News and Press Release
Originally published
Nyirarukundo Anonciate, 39 (far left) standing next to her husband Saidi Olivier, 39, outside their shelter alongside their neighbours in Mpati village in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. © NRC/Christian Jepsen


African countries top list of neglected crises

Central African Republic tops the Norwegian Refugee Council´s yearly list of the world´s ten most neglected displacement crises, followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The international community has not only forgotten these crises, but has never really shown sufficient willingness to contribute to a solution. Many of the displaced people have fled their homes multiple times, and each time they get increasingly vulnerable,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

Countries topping NRC’s list are characterised by insufficient economic support to meet the most basic humanitarian needs, limited media attention and lack of political will to solve the crises.

Last year, only 38% of the UN appeal for humanitarian assistance to Central African Republic was covered. The country also finds itself at the very bottom of the Human Development Index.

“One out of five Central Africans are displaced from their homes. Still, the displacement crisis rarely attracts any media attention, the funding to humanitarian assistance does not match the grave needs, and the violence in the country has been escalating further since the end of last year,” said Egeland.

Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo are followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Palestine, Ukraine, Myanmar and Somalia, according to NRC’s list.

“The five displacement crises topping this year’s list are all unfolding in Africa, and in areas that are already prone to poverty. Most of those who flee head to neighbouring countries or are displaced within their own country. The fact that most of these people do not turn up at our doorsteps, gives us no right to close our eyes to their suffering and does not remove our responsibility to assist,” said Egeland.

“Economic support to alleviate humanitarian crises must be given based on needs, and not be subject to geopolitical interests. In addition, we need to work for long-term political solutions, which can lift countries out of a negative spiral of violence, war and poverty,” he added.

The ten most neglected displacement crises:

  1. Central African Republic
  2. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  3. Sudan
  4. South Sudan
  5. Nigeria
  6. Yemen
  7. Palestine
  8. Ukraine
  9. Myanmar
  10. Somalia

Facts about the list:

  • Every year, NRC presents a list of displacement crises the world has neglected.
  • The list is based on the following three criteria:
  • Lack of political will: This includes both the lack of political will among the armed parties on the ground to protect the rights of civilians and to engage in peace negotiations, but also international actors’ unwillingness or inability to find political solutions.
  • Lack of media attention: When developing the list, media attention has been measured using media monitoring results delivered by Meltwater. To compare media attention with the size of the crisis, the potential media reach for articles about the relevant displacement crisis, has been divided with the number of people displaced.
  • Lack of economic support: Every year, the UN and humanitarian partners put together humanitarian appeals for funding to cover basic needs in countries affected by large crises, but how large a share of the appeal is covered varies greatly. The percentage of the appeals covered in 2016 has been used to indicate level of economic support.
  • All countries with more than 100,000 displaced people have been analysed.