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IRIN - Central African Republic





 



Ten humanitarian crises to look out for in 2018

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:38:06 +0000

From the Rohingya to South Sudan, hurricanes to famine, 2017 was full of disasters and crises. But 2018 is shaping up to be even worse. Here’s why. The UN has appealed for record levels of funding to help those whose lives have been torn apart, but the gap between the funding needs and the funding available continues to grow. And what makes the outlook especially bad for 2018 is that the political will needed to resolve conflicts, welcome refugees, and address climate change also appears to be waning. What a difference a year, a new US president, and a German election make. Here’s our insider take on 10 crises that will shape the humanitarian agenda in 2018 (See 2017’s list here): IRIN’s editors sketch out the gloomy-looking horizon for next year Ten humanitarian crises to look out for in 2018 AFP_Yemeni_air_raid_000_lr1oi1.jpg Feature Migration Conflict Health GENEVA IRIN Africa West Africa Cameroon East Africa DRC Central African Republic South Sudan Americas Venezuela Colombia Asia Bangladesh Afghanistan Myanmar Global Middle East and North Africa Libya Syria Yemen Syria’s sieges and displacement As Syria heads towards seven years of war and Western governments quietly drop their demands for political transition, it has become increasingly clear that President Bashar al-Assad will stay in power, at least in some capacity.   But that doesn’t mean the violence or suffering is over: pockets of resistance are still being starved into submission and being denied aid – nearly three million Syrians still live in areas the UN defines as besieged or “hard to reach” (see: eastern Ghouta right now), while chemical weapons are deployed to horrifying effect.   There’s talk of reconstruction where the fighting has fizzled out, be it in areas brought under the government’s control or in cities like Raqqa, which is now controlled by Kurdish forces but has a mixed population that is beginning to come home, to utter destruction.   Investors are lining up for a slice of the rebuilding pie. But an average of 6,550 Syrians were displaced by violence each day in 2017. So what of the 6.1 million and counting displaced inside Syria – many sheltering in tents or unfinished buildings and facing another long winter – not to mention the 5.5 million refugees abroad? Will they have a say in how Syria is rebuilt? With reconstruction already a major bone of contention in peace talks and the EU planning to get involved in 2018, how this plays out is important and worth watching. Congo unravels You know the situation is bad when people start fleeing their homes, and it doesn’t get much worse than the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here, violence in its eastern provinces has triggered the world’s worst displacement crisis – for a second year in a row. More than 1.7 million people abandoned their farms and villages this year, on top of 922,000 in 2016. The provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Kasai, and Tanganyika are the worst affected and the epicentres of unrest in the country.   New alliances of armed groups have emerged to take on a demoralised government army and challenge President Joseph Kabila in distant Kinshasa. He refused to step down and hold elections in 2016 when his constitutionally mandated two-term limit expired – and the political ambition of some of these groups is to topple him. These rebellions are a new addition to the regular lawlessness of armed groups and conflict entrepreneurs that have stalked the region for years. It is a confusing cast of characters, in which the army also plays a freelance role and, as IRIN reported this month, as an instigator of some of the rights abuses that are forcing civilians to flee.   As we enter 2018, more than 13 million people require humanitarian assistance and protection – that’s close to six million more people than at the start of 2017. Over three million people are severely food ins[...]