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8 Countries That Are Battling Humanitarian Crises

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Humanitarian crises around the world have become the new reality and many countries today see no end to this problem, as providing aid to these countries comes with its own set of difficulties. Here’s a list of countries in a crisis situation:

South Sudan

South Sudan gained Independence in 2011 after years of war with North Sudan. But the latest trouble erupted when the president- Salva Kiir accused the vice president-Dr. Riek Machar of leading a coup. The government is now fighting its own people. Since the fighting in 2016, about 3.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Around 1.5 million have escaped to Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, but there are close to 2 million people displaced within the country. These are the ones who are most at risk of dying of starvation or being attacked by their own government.With so many people displaced, there is no functioning economy. Aid is slow to arrive, and the aid trucks that get through never reach the people who need it the most.With a total of 67 humanitarians being killed and added risk of rape and outbreak of cholera, it has become extremely dangerous to be an aid worker in South Sudan.

Somalia

For over 2 decades, Somalia has been embroiled in a civil war with terrorist groups. Al Shabaab, the Jihadist fundamentalist group from East Africa, being in the forefront of this war. In 2011, the country was hit by a drought along with a number of water borne diseases like cholera. This forced more than a million Somalis to leave their country in search of food and shelter. Even though Kenya and Ethiopia have taken in a lot of refugees, the world’s negligence at large has made things worse.  Countries have ignored Somalia and only few humanitarian agencies have been providing relief in the form of food. However, even these agencies face the constant problem of safety.

Burma

Burma has been facing a refugee crisis after the communal riots in 2012 between Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists. Even though this has been termed as ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas, the state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to condemn them. Since the parliament is dominated by the military, there is little her party National League for Democracy can do. The counterinsurgency campaign has caused several casualties among the Rohingyas, as the Constitution does not provide them security. The Rohingya refugees have been taken in by Thailand, Indonesia and India. In November 2016, the government temporarily cut off aid to the Muslim inhabited part of Rakhine state after violence broke out in the region. Due to allegations of the humanitarian agencies providing support to the Rohingya insurgents, the country has always been wary of the aid workers.

Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria)

Over 17 million people have been affected by the crisis in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Droughts and unemployment have become commonplace. The armed insurgency group Boko Haram actively places suicide bombers in and around these areas in hope of establishing a strict religious rule by inflicting violence. The constant droughts and pitiable living conditions have made Boko Haram stronger. In Cameroon, Chad and Niger, UNHCR camps have made way for the displaced. Even though humanitarian aid has reached these places, out of the needed US $ 1.5 billion, only about US $ 600 million has reached these regions.

Venezuela

Amid protests for President Nicolas Maduro to resign, the food and medicine shortages in the country  continues to escalate. People have to wait for hours outside supermarkets for a couple of bags of wheat. Even with the inflation rate expected to escalate, the government refused to acknowledge any such problem. The food has ended up in the black market at exorbitant prices. For months, Maduro refused humanitarian aid and asked for help from the UN only in 2017. But with Trump planning to apply more stringent sanctions against Maduro, there’s a fear that Venezuela could be facing a shortage of aid relief in the future.

North Korea

North Korea’s economy has been dwindling since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990. Since the government pays no attention to the labour class, there is a serious food supply problem. More than 41% of the population is undernourished. Sexual violence, abduction and torture have become prevalent. North Korea’s increasing success rate with nuclear energy has distanced the country from even its allies like China. Various international sanctions have further deepened the state of isolation and prevented humanitarian aid from reaching the country, making the donors reluctant. China wants North Korea to stop testing missiles and hold talks with US but with North Korea’s threat to Guam, a US territory, that negotiation seems to be a daydream.

Syria

In March 2011, Syria started protests for independence and the improvement of economic and political stagnation in the country. Bashar Al Assad, the President of Syria retaliated by killing off hundreds of demonstrators. In July 2011, the Syrian army formed a rebel group to overthrow the government. And, thus began the Syrian civil war, with both sides ending up killing civilians. Millions of refugees who have fled Syria are now scattered all over the world but especially in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. With more than 13 million people in need, major media coverage has paved way for a good amount of humanitarian aid to reach Syria. However, with the health care system being targeted, there is little medical help the civilians get. The Humanitarian crises is at its peak.

Yemen

Out of all the humanitarian crises in the world, Yemen currently is the worst of them all. After the Arab Spring (series of protests across Middle East), Yemen wanted a change. They forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over the power to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. But once he took over, conditions worsened quickly. There was food shortage, unemployment, and suicide bombings, quickly leading to a war. Many rebel groups emerged, namely – the Houthis, people loyal to the former president Saleh and a few loyal to the Hadi government. Using Yemen as the backdrop, Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting their own battle to gain regional prominence. All this mayhem along with cyclone, floods, and outbreak of cholera and destruction of infrastructure has affected about 17 million Yemenis. Humanitarian aid is hardly reaching the affected and UN appeals have only been partially funded.

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