Breaking the Silence Report: Ten humanitarian crises that didn't make headlines in 2022

CARE shines the light on the ten humanitarian crises that received the least media attention in 2022. All of which, for the first time, are in Africa. 

With Breaking the Silence comes a call to action. This analysis shows that when American actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony, the incident received almost 100 times the coverage of Malawi’s food crisis. It is time for the forgotten crises to be talked about, because we cannot and will not remain silent when lives are in danger.

We all must play our part to bring such stories to the world’s attention,
Eamon Cassidy, CARE International UK Interim CEO.

1. Angola: Drought, hunger and displacement

The global climate crisis in is hitting Angola with full force: southern Angola is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. The population is suffering from hunger and displacement. As global temperatures continue to rise, dry spells are anticipated to become even more frequent and destructive in the future.

2. Malawi: Cyclones, cholera and hunger

Although it is one of the countries that is contributing least to the climate crisis, Malawi is among the hardest hit by its effects. Extreme weather events such as drought and cyclones occur very frequently. As a result, food is scarce, with 5.4 million people not having enough to eat.

3. Central African Republic: Conflict, violence and climate crisis

Arable crops, fruit and vegetables grow almost all year round in the Central African Republic. But still, people are going hungry. One in two people do not have enough to eat. For years, the climate crisis has been destroying what thrives on the fertile soils. In June 2022, huge floods destroyed more than 2,600 houses and 18,500 hectares of cultivated land.

4. Zambia: Poverty, HIV and violence

Half of the population gets by on less than 1.9 US dollars a day. More than ten percent are infected with HIV. Women are affected much more frequently than men. In 2021, around 19,000 people died of AIDS in the country.

5. Chad: Unrest and floods

Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. 6.1 million people need humanitarian aid. Violence and insecurity dominate the lives of the population. The country has suffered from armed conflicts in the Sahel region for years. The region around Lake Chad is particularly affected by the activities of various armed groups.

6. Burundi: Between natural disaster and economic crisis

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been on CARE’s list of forgotten humanitarian crises every year bar one. Of the almost 13 million inhabitants, more than 70 percent live below the poverty line.

7. Zimbabwe: Between droughts and flash floods

In Zimbabwe, the consequences of climate change are becoming more apparent every year. Long periods of drought are often followed by heavy rains that cause widespread flooding on dust-dry soils. The weather extremes, known as climate shocks, devastate the livelihoods of large segments of the population.

8. Mali: Hunger, conflict and climate crisis

More than three quarters of the 21 million inhabitants live in poverty, and over 7.5 million people need humanitarian aid. Food insecurity continues to rise. Climate change has led to frequent droughts and floods, resulting in crop failures. Soils are depleted, and fertilizers are lacking.

9. Cameroon: From crisis to crisis

Cameroon has repeatedly been hit by humanitarian crises over the past decade. In addition, there have been natural disasters, diseases such as cholera, and most recently, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the war in Ukraine. 3.9 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance – about 14 percent of the population.

10. Niger: Crisis in the heart of the Sahel

In general, Niger is a country of records: one of the hottest countries, it has the highest fertility rate and the highest population growth in the world. In the UNDP Human Development Index, however, which measures three fundamental aspects of human development – health, knowledge and income – Niger ranks close to the bottom.

Read the full report