CharityWatch Humanitarian Relief Alerts
CharityWatch has compiled this short list of serious humanitarian crises, with links to highly efficient charities providing relief. For additional disaster relief alerts and charity news, visit the CharityWatch Hot Topics page.
Syria Humanitarian Relief
Syria’s raging civil war headed into its eighth year in March 2018. The extreme violence in Syria has claimed the lives of 470,000 people since conflicts began in 2011, according to a February 2016 report from the Syrian Center for Policy Research. A 2017 World Bank report states that about one-third of Syria’s housing and one-half of Syria's hospitals and medical centers have been severely damaged or destroyed. Plus, many of the country’s utilities and water and sanitation systems have been ravaged.
Currently, as many as 13.1 million Syrian people are in need of emergency aid. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 5.6 million Syrians are registered as refugees seeking assistance in neighboring countries, and the total number of people fleeing Syria may be much higher than that. The violence has also displaced 6.1 million people within Syria where the distribution of aid is difficult due to the continued instability. The Syrian conflict has created the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
(Photo credit © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0153/Tiku)
Yemen Humanitarian Relief
Since an ongoing bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia began in March 2015, war has occupied Yemen, which has long been the Middle East’s most poverty-stricken country. According to the United Nations, the Yemeni people are in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Approximately 13 million Yemeni people are hungry, and 15 million Yemeni have no access to health care. Over 60% of the population is at risk of famine. Thousands of people fall ill each day. Nearly 80% of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian aid.
Malnutrition and poor sanitation have made Yemen susceptible to many diseases that are no longer considered threats to populations in other parts of the world. Cholera has killed more than 2,000 people and infected more than 500,000 people in 2017. Due to the collapse of infrastructure, aid organizations are struggling to provide critical medical and nutritional support. An estimated 11.3 million people in Yemen are in need of urgent help.
(Photo Credit: "Destroyed house in the south of Sanaa 12-6-2015-3" by Ibrahem Qasim - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
South Sudan Relief Efforts
Since civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, tens of thousands of people have died and more than four million people have been displaced. The civil war has created a food crisis, with full-blown famine afflicting some regions. Famine was declared in two areas of South Sudan in February 2017 although the famine warning was lifted several months later thanks to urgent intervention by the international community and aid agencies. In February 2018, however, United Nations officials warned that famine could return. More than one-half of the country's 12 million people face extreme hunger, and almost two-thirds of the population will need food aid to stave off starvation and malnutrition. Without humanitarian aid, the lives of more than six million people remain at risk.
Moreover, malnutrition rates spike when the rainy season begins each April and more than half of the country becomes inaccessible by road. During that time of the year, it is even more difficult to deliver aid. Humanitarian groups have to resort to expensive air-lifting of food, medications, and sanitation equipment. Funding for aid in South Sudan is urgently needed.