8.28.2010

5 Most Ignored Humanitarian Crises

The response to the flooding in Pakistan has been despicable. While on twitter the other day I found that  3.1 million Americans texted $31 million after the earthquake in Haiti, while the similar campaign for Pakistan has only generated $10,000. Has the world become tired of giving out money or are there other underlying reasons for the lack of donations?

However, Pakistan is not the first humanitarian crisis the world has ignored. UN Dispatch came out with a list of the 5 most ignored humanitarian crisis in recent times. Some of them are quite surprising too. (read the full article)

#1 - Iraqi refugee crisis
According to the UNHCR, the U.S. occupation and invasion has resulted in 1.7 million refugees living in Jordan and Syria and 1.5 million IDPs in Iraq. The U.N. has declared that over 30,000 youth in Iraq have not had the opportunity to attend school because of the war. The funding needed to provide assistance to these refugees is also greatly lacking.

#2 Guatemala; Tropical Storm Agatha
Little is known about tropical storm Agatha that hit Guatemala at the end of May right after a volcanic eruption. Perhaps the image of the gigantic sinkhole that was 200 feet deep is recognizable by a few people, but other than that, it was off our radar. 200 people died during Agatha and thousands of others were displaced. Of the $15 million that was needed to rebuild after the storm, only $5 million was donated. 

#3 - Uganda
Source: New York Times
The LRA is beginning to regroup again and attack villages in Uganda, Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo again. In the recent months, the LRA conducted a massive abduction campaign where it took hundreds of children to fight as well as to become sex slaves. 2 million are still displaced in Uganda and rely on humanitarian aid. Of the $184 million dollar appeal, only $64 million has been donated. 

#4 - Central African Republic
C.A.R suffers not from its own issues, but those of its neighbors. LRA attacks occur in border towns in C.A.R, the Darfur conflict is spilling over the boundaries as well as refugees from the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last year 18,000 refugees from DRC crossed over the border into the Central African Republic. 

#5 - Kyrgyzstan
The violence earlier this summer in Kyrgyzstan was severely underreported. In the span of a few short days, 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks were driven from their burning homes and forced to flee into Uzbekistan where they were not received well. Now they are returning home to nothing and the world still doesn't know. To date, only 36% of the funding needed to provide assistance has been received. 

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