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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
© European Union, 2021 (photographer: N.Mazars)
Forgotten crises

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. However, they have been forgotten by international media and donors, leading to a lack of funding and efforts to resolve their situation.

The EU is committed to helping the most vulnerable people affected by these “forgotten crises”.

How are we helping?

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

The EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department defines a “forgotten crisis” as a severe, protracted humanitarian crisis where people receive 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.

The term “forgotten crises” refers to protracted conflict situations. It can also refer to crises resulting from the cumulative effect of recurring natural hazards or 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 “complex crises” when natural and/or human-induced causes interact and overlap, making it often impossible to isolate the impact of each cause.

The “forgotten crises” often concern minorities within a country. The living conditions of these groups of people tend to be below the country average.

Forgotten Crises Assessment

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

The EU balances this type of “top-down” approach, based on global indices and other quantitative information, with the “bottom-up” approach of analysis by experts on the ground.

They can identify pockets of humanitarian crisis and back up their proposals for action with a needs assessment that is as recent and comprehensive as possible.

For 2022-2023, the Assessment identified the following crises, including a range of country-specific and regional crises:


  • Complex crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Complex crisis in Cameroon
  • Complex crisis in Burundi
  • Complex crisis in South Sudan
  • Violence in West Darfur
  • Complex crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR)
  • Refugee crisis in Sudan
  • CAR refugees in Chad
  • Banditry in Northwest Nigeria

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Socio-economic crisis in Lebanon
  • Saharawi crisis in Algeria


  • Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Displacements of Venezuelans in Ecuador
  • Displacement of Venezuelans in Peru
  • Complex crisis in Colombia

Last updated: 06/09/2023