Dakar – The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an aid agency, says the world pays the least attention to humanitarian crises when they force Africans from their homes, dashing hopes of peace and increasing the risk of radicalisation.
Central African Republic (CAR) topped the NRC annual list of neglected displacement crises.
It was followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, the Palestinian
territories, Ukraine, Myanmar and Somalia.
“The fact that most of these people do not turn up at our doorsteps gives us no right to close our eyes to their
suffering, and does not remove our responsibility to assist,” the NRC’s Secretary-General Jan Egeland said in a statement.
“Economic support to alleviate humanitarian crises must be given based on needs, and not … geopolitical interests.”
The aid agency said limited political will to achieve peace, scant media attention and a lack of aid funding mean crises are likely to worsen and trigger even more displacement.
Also, Richard Skretteberg of the NRC said that chronic conflict involving militias in countries such as Central African Republic and Congo could drive more and more people into armed groups.
He said: “when you combine limited state presence in much of these countries, mass displacement, and a lack of protection and aid for civilians, this creates a fertile breeding ground for radicalisation.
“Rebuilding and working towards peace are difficult when so many people are displaced.”
The aid agency said one in five Central Africans, about a million people, are displaced, and at least 100,000 were newly uprooted in May in some of the worst violence between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias since conflict began in 2013.
According to the NRC, spreading ethnic violence in Congo has forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes within the country this year, more than triple the number uprooted within Syria and five times the number within Iraq.
The UN has received just a fifth of the 812.5 million dollars sought in the humanitarian appeal for Congo
this year, and 25 per cent of the 400 million dollars requested for CAR, the UN’s Financial Tracking Service.
Africa’s arid Sahel belt, which stretches from Senegal to Eritrea and lies south of the Sahara desert, topped
the NRC’s index in 2016, followed by Yemen and Libya.