An interview with Sid Johann Peruvemba, former Vice Secretary General, on how crises become forgotten, and how humanitarian aid can respond.Read more
In the digital age, news travels faster than ever before. The first days and weeks following the outbreak of a humanitarian disaster often bring with them continuous and comprehensive media reports from the crisis region, and the catastrophe is a focus of public consciousness. This is usually followed by a gradual shift of media interest to other topics of interest, and a reduction of public interest, and with it, public support for aid. This is despite the fact that it is precisely such long-term humanitarian crises that require particular attention. The affected populations are usually amongst the most impoverished and vulnerable, and they require the most international help with rebuilding and protecting themselves for the future, while bringing ongoing conflicts to a solution requires an intensive and widespread effort.
What is a forgotten crisis?
Forgotten crises are situations such as a natural disaster or armed conflict, that affect particularly vulnerable populations, and in which the media interest and level of external aid provided remains low. The European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) identifies the most neglected crises through its annual Forgotten Crisis Assessment. For the year 2014/15, these were the countries of Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, Colombia and three regional conflicts in India.
National campaign against forgetting
Together with several other aid organizations, Malteser International is a member of the German Federal Foreign Office’s national Forgotten Humanitarian Crises campaign. The goal of the campaign is to bring forgotten crises more strongly into the public focus, strengthen public interest in the humanitarian needs created by forgotten crises, and to bring people involved in forgotten crises the help that they need.
Malteser International is already active in many of the so called forgotten crisis zones to provide impoverished and especially disadvantaged populations the chance of a better life.