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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Forgotten crises

Factsheet

Why is this essential?

There are millions of people worldwide suffering in the shadows. Many of them rely on international aid for their very survival. The EU is committed to helping the most vulnerable people affected by “forgotten crises”.

How are we helping?

The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department defines a “forgotten crisis” as a severe, protracted humanitarian crisis where people are receiving insufficient or no international aid. There is often also no or not enough political commitment to solve the situation due in part to a lack of media interest.

“Forgotten crises” refer to protracted conflict situations, but can also refer to crises resulting from the cumulative effect of recurring natural hazards, or even a combination of the two.

According to the INFORM Severity Index, there are various types of forgotten crises such as conflict, drought, epidemics or floods. Some crises are considered as “complex crisis” when natural and/or human-induced factors interact and overlap making it often impossible to isolate their impact.

The “forgotten crises” usually concern minorities within a country. The living conditions of these groups of people are below the country average.

Forgotten Crises Assessment

The EU as a global, principled donor allocates at least 15% of its initial annual humanitarian budget to forgotten crises.

The Forgotten Crises Assessment is based on evidence, including a combination of the following factors:

It is essential to balance this type of “top-down” approach, based on global indices and other quantitative information, with the “bottom-up” approach consisting of analysis by experts on the ground. They can identify humanitarian crisis pockets and back up their proposals for action with a needs assessment that is recent and as comprehensive as possible.

In 2021, the Assessment identified the following crises, including a range of individual and regional crises:

Africa

  • Algeria: Sahrawi crisis
  • Burundi: Regional refugee crisis
  • Cameroon: Conflict and violence in the north west/south west regions
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Complex crisis
  • Madagascar: Drought
  • Somalia: Complex crisis
  • South Sudan: Complex crisis 
  • Regional crisis (Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad)

Asia

  • Bangladesh/Myanmar: Rohingya regional crisis
  • Myanmar: Conflict and displacement in Kachin and Northern Shan States
  • Pakistan: Food crisis
  • Philippines: Armed conflict in Mindanao

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Colombia: Internal armed conflict 
  • Haiti: Complex crisis
  • Regional crisis (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico): Food insecurity and violence

Europe

  • Ukraine: Conflict

Last updated: 07/01/2022