Cameroon, DR Congo, Burkina Faso, Nigeria are among the most neglected displacement crises in the world, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s annual list launched today.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) defines ‘neglected crises, as crises that receive little attention in the media, where politicians are not prioritising finding solutions and where donor countries are not allocating enough funds.
Cameroon’s conflict with English-speaking separatists was rated as the most-neglected crisis in the world for the second year running by the Norwegian Refugee Council.
Three separate emergencies faced the African nation: an exacerbation of Boko Haram attacks in the north, a violent conflict in the English-speaking west, and a Central African refugee crisis.
Ineffective conflict resolution, global news silence and a massive aid funding shortfall all contributed to the country topping this year’s list.
The African nation’s Anglophone minority are fighting for autonomy after what they term as decades of marginalisation by the central government and the French-speaking majority.
Some of the separatists have declared autonomy over two regions – a move rejected by President Paul Biya.
Cameroon has also been hit by a refugee crisis from the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) and continuous attacks in the north from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Nigeria was also ranked number 8 on the list of ‘World’s Most Neglected Crisis’. The country is confronted by multiple security challenges, notably the resilient Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the north east, increasing violence between herders and farming communities spreading from the central belt southward, and banditry in the North.
The annual list of neglected crises is based on three criteria: lack of funding, lack of media attention, and political and diplomatic neglect.
There are nine African nations in the list of 10, with Venezuela being the only non-African this year.
Cameroon was followed by DR Congo, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Venezuela, Mali, South Sudan, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Niger.
The report also highlighted the ongoing armed conflict in the Sahel region, that includes Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which has resulted in the deployment of military forces from a host of European nations.
Humanitarian crises in all countries mentioned in this year’s list are expected to worsen throughout 2020, compounded by the global coronavirus pandemic.
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 degree of political will among the armed parties on the ground to protect the rights of civilians and to engage in peace negotiations, and international actors’ willingness or ability 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 by the number of people displaced.
Lack of international aid: Every year, the UN and humanitarian partners put together humanitarian appeals for funding to cover basic needs in countries and regions affected by large crises, but how large a share of the appeal is covered varies greatly. The percentage of the appeals covered in 2019 has been used to indicate level of economic support.