Congo named most neglected crisis of 2018 after Ebola, war

REUTERS
LONDON
Published 20.12.2018 21:45
Updated 21.12.2018 08:00

With an Ebola epidemic raging and millions caught in a forgotten "catastrophe" of conflict and hunger, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the most neglected crisis of 2018, according to an annual Thomson Reuters Foundation poll of aid agencies.

This year's survey was unusual for the high number of "most forgotten crises," with experts also listing the Central African Republic, Lake Chad Basin, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Burundi, Nigeria and, for the first time, Venezuela.

"The brutality of the conflict is shocking, the national and international neglect outrageous," said Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council. "I visited Congo this year and have seldom witnessed such a gap between needs and assistance."

Congo, where 13 million people in a population of 82 million need help, also topped the annual Thomson Reuters Foundation poll in 2017, but agencies said the situation had deteriorated. Six of 21 agencies polled named Congo as the most neglected crisis, including WFP, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, ActionAid, International Rescue Committee, and Christian Aid.

ActionAid's humanitarian advisor Rachid Boumnijel urged the international community to redouble efforts to end years of conflict characterized by sexual brutality. "It's been a catastrophe for the country, and for women and girls particularly," Boumnijel said.

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