The International Rescue Committee’s emergency response experts have ranked the countries most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe next year and Nigeria was ranked among the top ten countries most at risk of humanitarian crises in 2019.
The ranking, which was released by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), has 21 countries on its list, with Yemen taking the top spot.
According to the list which was published on December 17, 2018, the 2019 elections may also play a role in sparking greater conflict.
According to the publication by IRC, “The International Rescue Committee’s emergency response experts have ranked the countries most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe next year”, noting that the top ten, “account for approximately half of internally displaced people and two-thirds of refugees across the globe”.
“2018 was a devastating year for millions around the world, with more people displaced from their homes than ever before. In many of the world’s most challenging places, armed conflict and man-made crisis mean life will get worse and not better in 2019,” Bob Kitchen, the IRC’s Vice President for Emergencies, said.
With Nigeria taking the number eight spot on the top ten list, other countries are Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Syria, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Somalia.
On Nigeria’s position, IRC noted that: “During 2018, Nigeria has experienced persistent attacks from armed groups as well as communal violence exacerbated by competition for water and land resources. As a result, Over 2 million Nigerians have been displaced internally and 230,000 have sought refuge in neighboring countries”.
On the outlook for 2019, the IRC stated that: “Violence could intensify, triggering more displacements and exacerbating food insecurity for millions of Nigerians. The presidential election in February 2019 may also have a destabilizing impact and could spark greater conflict, leading to further displacement”.
These are the top 10 countries experiencing—or on the brink of—the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
Somalia has been plagued by ongoing conflict for decades. Precipitated by instability and insecurity, and combined with persistent natural disasters, the crisis has left over 2.6 million Somalis internally displaced and 870,000 registered as refugees.
Outlook for 2019: Somalia will likely remain unstable, conflict-affected and food-insecure throughout 2019. While a major Al-Shabab resurgence is unlikely, people will continue to be uprooted from their homes due to ongoing conflict.
Outlook for 2019: Politics will remain volatile with a high likelihood of further conflict along ethnic lines, sparking major displacements and food insecurity, which will be compounded if poor rain and harvests continue.
Outlook for 2019: Northwest Syria remains at risk of major displacements and further destruction of infrastructure in 2019, as conflict persists. Civilians may be vulnerable to airstrikes and have few options of places to flee to.
6. Central African Republic
Outlook for 2019: Conflicts resulting in further displacement and food insecurity are likely to persist in CAR. With an already vulnerable population, even relatively minor conflicts or natural events will have major humanitarian implications threatening lives.
Outlook for 2019: Venezuela’s economic crisis is only likely to worsen in 2019. Unless the government shifts direction radically and introduces economic reforms, diseases will continue to spread and people will be without food and forced to flee the country.
Outlook for 2019: Presidential elections due in April 2019 will coincide with the start of the spring fighting season, and are likely to prompt increased Taliban violence. Conflict-driven displacements will increase. The number of people facing food insecurity is also expected to rise due to continued violence and fallout from a 2017-2018 drought.
3. South Sudan
Outlook for 2019: Even without an escalation in fighting, a significant proportion of South Sudanese will struggle to get enough food. If the peace deal holds, localized conflict will likely continue to displace tens of thousands of civilians, given the threats to their safety from the activities of armed groups. A collapse of the peace deal could lead to a re-escalation in the conflict and a drastic rise in humanitarian need.
2. Democratic Republic of Congo
Outlook for 2019: Tensions around the presidential election due in December 2018 mean that 2019 is likely to begin with intense political disagreements, protests and possibly growing militia violence. This will drive rising displacements and food insecurity, given the resulting disruption to harvests, while Ebola will continue to spread.
Outlook for 2019: The civil war and associated humanitarian catastrophe are highly likely to persist in 2019, with food insecurity already rising. As airstrikes continue to hit civilian areas and medical facilities, it will be increasingly difficult for humanitarian organizations to deliver aid, help people uprooted from their homes, and address the widespread malnutrition. If dialogue efforts fail and the coalition launches an offensive to seize control of the port city of Hodeidah, which brings in 70 percent of all imports, another 250,000 people could “lose everything—even their lives,” the U.N. warns.