Why these 10 humanitarian crises demand your attention now

The New Humanitarian
Humanitarian Sectors

As the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine continue to dominate headlines going into 2024, it’s important to remember the many other crises that are too easily forgotten by the media and neglected by aid donors – often just because of their complexity or their relative lack of geopolitical importance.

Needs in the “uninhabitable” Gaza Strip are indescribably high, as Israel’s operations to destroy Hamas enter a fourth month, the death toll nears 23,000, and 85% of the population of 2.3 million – who are unable to leave the territory – remain displaced by the bombardment and ground invasion. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are sick or wounded but barely any hospitals are functioning, and Israel’s all-out siege is preventing the entry of all but a trickle of humanitarian supplies, while it cuts off water, food, fuel, and electricity. Remarks from far-right Israeli ministers have fuelled accusations of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Millions also face displacement and the constant threat of bombardment in Ukraine, where Russia’s invasion is far from over even as international attention wanes.

But the people of Gaza and Ukraine are not alone in their suffering.

According to the latest UN figures, nearly 300 million people in 72 countries will require humanitarian assistance and protection this year. Globally, response plans in 2023 were less than 40% funded, while the donor outlook is even gloomier for the coming year as the UN scales back its ambitions.

As 2024 begins, tens of millions of affected people in the settings below are already in extreme hunger or extreme danger, while access restraints or funding limitations mean many can’t be reached by an international emergency response system that is overwhelmed and more intently focused elsewhere.