Top Ten Humanitarian Crises That Didn’t Make Headlines in 2023


In 2023, the media spotlight shone brightly on the iPhone with 273,421 articles, while the humanitarian crisis in Angola received scant attention, reflected in a mere 1,049 articles. This discrepancy is alarming, considering the plight of over seven million people grappling with the impact of droughts, floods, and hunger in this Southern African nation.

Angola persistently holds the undesirable top position in the list of the ten most overlooked humanitarian crises, garnering minimal media coverage. For the eighth consecutive time, CARE, a prominent humanitarian organization, is unveiling its “Breaking the Silence” report (accessible here) to underscore the urgency of addressing these neglected crises.

“Global humanitarian needs have never been greater than in 2023. This was reflected in international media reporting as the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, the war in Ukraine, and the escalating conflict in the Middle East have dominated the headlines. Many crises in Africa have existed for a long time which makes it challenging to raise awareness, while international reporting is becoming more expensive,” said Deepmala Mahla, Global Humanitarian Director of CARE.

Conflicts and climate crisis increase hunger in Africa

All ten forgotten crises are in Africa. In Zambia, second on the list, 1.35 million people are affected by hunger. Zambia is particularly impacted by the consequences of climate change. But only 1,371 online articles were written about the crisis in Zambia in 2023.

Burundi, third on the list, also regularly experiences climate related disasters, such as flooding. Almost 70,000 people have been displaced as a result. Malnutrition is a major problem in Burundi, especially among children.

“According to the United Nations, around 300 million people worldwide will need humanitarian aid in 2024 – almost half of them in Africa. We must not forget that hunger is almost always man-made. Conflicts, economic shocks, extreme weather, poverty, and inequality are key drivers. To save lives, we need more attention and sufficient funding for humanitarian aid. Last year, only 35 percent of the required financial resources were provided for humanitarian aid, which is definitely not enough,” said Mahla.

Ten humanitarian crises that did not make the headlines in 2023

  1. Angola – 7.3 million people with humanitarian needs
  2. Zambia – 1.35 million people have too little to eat
  3. Burundi – 5.6 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition
  4. Senegal – 1.4 million people affected by food insecurity
  5. Mauritania – One in four people live in poverty
  6. Central African Republic – Sixth highest child mortality rate in the world
  7. Cameroon – One in six people with humanitarian needs
  8. Burkina Faso – 8.8 million people live below the poverty line
  9. Uganda – Maternal mortality rate is 284 per 100,000 live births
  10. Zimbabwe – Almost 8 million people affected by extreme poverty