The international aid organization CARE launched its annual report highlighting the ten most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2020. The analysis is based on online media coverage in five languages throughout the year. CARE sees a concerning trend of crises being neglected year after year.
Six out of the ten crises are located on the African continent. The Central African Republic has appeared in the ranking for five consecutive years. Both Madagascar and Burundi – the latter this year’s number 1 with the least media coverage – have made CARE’s list four times so far. This lack of attention adds to burdens such as the severe effects of COVID-19 restrictions and the growing impact of climate change in these countries.
“Covid-19 has shown us that humanitarian crises can occur anywhere”, says Delphine Pinault, CARE International’s Humanitarian Advocacy Coordinator and UN representative, “but for so many people, especially women and girls, Covid-19 is just another threat on top of what they must face already. We must not be silent while the world ignores crises that started long before Covid-19 and yet still have not been addressed.”
In mainstream news reporting, it is the global pandemic that has dominated national and global headlines since the outbreak. Once its potential for widespread infection and health system chaos was understood, countries and their media understandably turned their focus inwards; on protecting citizens and preventing the virus from spreading. But the effects of COVID-19, coupled with the growing impacts of climate change, have increased the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance by 40 percent – the single largest increase ever recorded in one year: The UN estimates that more than 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2021.