The world has seen its fair share of humanitarian crises in the last century. From natural disasters to manufactured catastrophes, millions of people have been affected by crises that often seem insurmountable. In this article, we will look at the ten worst humanitarian crises in world history and explore some of the organizations on the front lines of helping those affected. These organizations adhere to the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence and work tirelessly to provide aid to those who need it most.
The humanitarian principles are guidelines that govern the provision of humanitarian aid. They were first established by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1864 and have been adopted by many international organizations since then. The principles are neutrality, impartiality, independence, humanity, and universality.
Most Alarming Humanitarian Crises
A humanitarian crisis is a situation in which many people are suffering and in need of help. This can include natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, or man-made disasters, such as wars or famine.
Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Civil War is one of our time’s most devastating humanitarian crises. Since 2011, over 400,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced. The conflict has created a massive refugee crisis, with over five million Syrians fleeing the country for safety. International organizations like the Red Cross and UNICEF are working to provide aid and support to those affected by the conflict.
The Rwandan genocide is another tragic example of a humanitarian crisis gone wrong. In 1994, over 800,000 Rwandans were killed in just 100 days. The majority of those killed were members of the Tutsi ethnic group. The international community failed to act in time to prevent the genocide. Still, organizations like Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders quickly provided aid and support to the survivors.
The Ethiopian famine of 1984–1985 is one of the most well-known humanitarian crises in history. Due to drought and political upheaval, over one million people died of starvation in Ethiopia. International organizations like Oxfam and Save the Children were on the ground providing relief to those affected by the famine.
Rohingya Refugee Crisis
The Rohingya refugee crisis is a large-scale humanitarian emergency that began in late August 2017, when more than 700,000 Rohingya people fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority who have been persecuted in Myanmar for decades.
Central African Republic Conflict
The Central African Republic Conflict is a conflict taking place in the Central African Republic. It began in 2012 and has continued to this day. The conflict has been characterized by religious violence between the Muslim and Christian communities in the country. The Central African Republic is a majority Christian country, but a significant Muslim minority exists.
South Sudan Civil War
The South Sudanese Civil War is a conflict that began in 2013 after members of the South Sudanese government began fighting each other. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million others. It has also led to extremist groups like the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition.
Yemen Civil War
The Yemeni Civil War is a conflict that began in 2015 after the Houthi rebels ousted the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced more than 3 million others, and led to extremist groups like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Nigerian Civil War
The Nigerian Civil War was a conflict that lasted from 1967 to 1970 after members of the Igbo ethnic group attempted to secede from Nigeria. The war resulted in more than 1 million people’s deaths and displaced millions more.
The Zimbabwean Political and Economic Crisis is a crisis that has been unfolding in Zimbabwe since 2000 after the government of President Robert Mugabe began implementing a series of controversial economic policies. The problem has led to high inflation, unemployment, and poverty, resulting in the displacement of millions of Zimbabweans.
The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, and pro-Russian separatists began fighting in the eastern regions of Ukraine. The fighting has displaced more than 1.5 million people, many of whom have fled to other countries in search of safety. More than half a million of the refugees are children.
The Ukrainian refugee crisis has significantly impacted the countries that have taken in the refugees. For example, Poland has seen an increase in asylum seekers, most of whom are from Ukraine, and the Polish government estimates that more than 200,000 Ukrainians are living in Poland.
The list goes on, but these are just a few examples of the worst humanitarian crises in world history.
Humanitarian Aid Organizations
- Red Cross: redcross.org
- UNICEF: unicef.org
- Amnesty International: amnesty.org
- Doctors Without Borders: doctorswithoutborders.org
- Oxfam: oxfam.org
- Save the Children: savethechildren.org/famine
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by humanitarian crises. For more information, visit the websites of the organizations listed above or contact them directly. Let’s work together to build a better world for everyone.