10 Humanitarian Crises That Demand Our Attention Now

In 2022, the media’s focus on the war in Ukraine diverted attention and funding away from the world’s worst crises.

We saw record levels of humanitarian need threatening the lives of millions of children due to rising hunger, violent conflict and damage created by climate change. Many of these trends, some of which overlap, will cause a double or triple burden in 2023 for people who were likely already vulnerable.  This unequal burden of humanitarian need is hitting children, the displaced, women and girls, and LGBTQI+ communities the hardest. 

While the global humanitarian situation for 2023 looks stark, Save the Children is already working to identify crises before they deteriorate and is working to protect children from immediate risks to their survival and to support their recovery. Together with our political advocacy arm - Save the Children Action Network - we are advocating for children and demanding lawmakers prioritize children’s needs in 2023. 

Somalia, a 10 month old baby is cradled by his mother after receiving therapeutic food

1. THE HORN OF AFRICA - Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia

A catastrophic drought across the Horn of Africa means hunger and displacement are on the rise as crops fail and livestock die.

By late December 2022, around 20.2 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia were facing severe hunger, thirst and disease. Communities have been forced to take extreme measures to survive, with thousands of children and families leaving their homes in search of water, food and treatment for sick children. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HORN OF AFRICA CRISIS.

In Afghanistan, a  mother feeds her daughter with therapeutic food used to treat severe acute malnutrition


Afghanistan is a country trying to transition out of decades of war but is now in the grip of an economic crisis, pushing millions into extreme hunger.

The foreign aid that once propped up Afghanistan has been slow to return after governments and international financial institutions cut funding in the wake of the Taliban’s rise to power. The result is that the economy is in freefall and Afghan families are feeling the impact.  LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AFGHANISTAN CRISIS.

DRC, a single mother sits with her two children


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to be one of the top two countries with the highest number of extreme poor by 2030.

At a time when assistance is needed most, several European countries have made explicit announcements that aid will be diverted away from countries like the DRC. Aid data to date shows evidence of this diversion by the UK, Germany, Sweden, and Norway despite rising food insecurity due to the conflict in Ukraine. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO CRISIS.

Yemen, a teenage boy who was hit by a sniper's bullet looks at the camera


Overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine, Yemen is still suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Seven years of war have left over 4 million people internally displaced - half of whom are children. Soaring food and fuel costs combined with budget cuts and inflation have forced the World Food Program to halve the amount of food it is giving to millions of people who rely on aid to survive. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE YEMEN CRISIS.

Syria, an young girl in a pink hoodie and pink headband looks at the camera


After ten years of brutal violence in Syria, half of the country’s children have grown up knowing nothing but conflict.

Many live in areas where basic services are almost non-existent and the infrastructure they rely on has been decimated. More than half the population has been forced to flee their homes, and thousands of children have been orphaned or separated from their families in the chaos of war.  LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SYRIA CRISIS.

South Sudan. a mother holds her baby in a Save the Children stabilization center


In South Sudan, successive years of devastating floods, civil war, intercommunal conflict and a deteriorating economy have driven hunger to historic levels.

As ever worsening flooding displaces a large swath of the population, communities fight over scarce resources, including limited food and water. The natural result has been that youth and children are being pushed into joining armed groups that provide a source of livelihood as well as security to their families. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SOUTH SUDAN CRISIS.

Burkina Faso, a teenage girl in a pink hijab sits in a classroom


Increased conflict in rural areas in Burkina Faso has led to massive displacement, forcing a mass exodus of people fleeing toward urban areas.

Since the summer, 1.8 million people have been displaced, over 60 percent of whom are children. While severe drought in the Horn of Africa is raising alarms about a possible famine, West and Central Africa’s crisis is just as worrying as the region is the world’s most food insecure region in proportion to its population. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BURKINA FASO CRISIS. 

Haiti, a mother holds her small daughter who's arm is being measured for malnutrition


In Haiti, armed actors are increasingly deploying violence to control communities while families are facing displacement and extortion.

Armed actors are cutting communities off from health and education services, damaging livelihoods and threatening lives. It is estimated that 4.7 million people are facing hunger with almost 20,000 in famine conditions. The country is also in the midst of a severe cholera outbreak, with children accounting for roughly 65 percent of confirmed cases. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HAITI CRISIS. 


Venezuela, a young mother holding her baby look at the camera


The lingering effects of Venezuela’s economic collapse continue to drive migration and humanitarian need.

Soaring inflation and a lack of affordable food and medicine has forced 7.1 million Venezuelans to leave their country since 2014. Two out of five Venezuelans are estimated to be food insecure and healthcare services are severely strained, leaving children and pregnant women more at-risk for preventable diseases. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VENEZUELA CRISIS. 

Lebanon, a teenage Syrian refugee girl in a burgundy hijab looks out a window


An unprecedented economic and financial crisis means that people in Lebanon can no longer afford basic commodities and services.

In the last few years, the country has been hit with crisis upon crisis: a financial collapse that's devalued the currency, political instability, COVID, and widespread power shortages. Decaying infrastructure and insufficient energy to fuel water filtration plants has contributed to the country’s first cholera outbreak in nearly three decades, threatening the lives of thousands of children. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LEBANON CRISIS. 


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