The world’s most neglected displacement crises in 2020


This report identifies the world’s most neglected displacement crises in 2020, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

NRC considered 40 displacement crises resulting in more than 200,000 displaced people, and ranked them according to the following three criteria:

  • Lack of political will: The analysis considered: whether United Nations Security Council resolutions were adopted in 2020; the number and importance of international and government envoys to the conflict; whether the international community engaged in any activities to help establish peace; and whether international summits, donor conferences or high-level meetings were organized. The actions taken were analyzed in relation to the size of the displacement crisis.
  • Lack of media attention: Media attention towards the different displacement crises was measured using figures from the media monitoring company Meltwater. When comparing media attention, the number of people displaced by each crisis was included in the calculations.
  • Lack of international aid: The amount of money raised for each crisis in 2020 was assessed as a percentage of the amount needed, indicating the level of economic support.

Key messages:

  • Although humanitarian assistance should be based on needs alone, some crises receive more attention and support than others.
  • Crises in Africa dominated the neglected displacement crises list for 2020, with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) topping the list followed by Cameroon, Burundi, Venezuela, Honduras, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Mali.
  • DRC is the world’s most neglected displacement crisis according to NRC annual list, due to overwhelming needs and an acute lack of funding, as well as media and diplomatic inattention. More than five million people are currently internally displaced within DRC, and an additional million have fled the country, mostly to neighboring countries. DRC is home to the largest number of food insecure people in the world—27 million, including over 3 million children. One in three Congolese does not have enough food to feed themselves. Less than 33 percent of the money required to meet the needs of the Congolese people was received, making it one of the world’s most underfunded crises.
  • Cameroon, which ranks second on the 2020 list, topped the list in 2018 and 2019. Cameroon is affected by three crises and has witnessed a spike in displacement in recent years, but little international pressure has been placed on conflict parties to stop attacking civilians.
  • For the first time this century, the global humanitarian appeals to support aid operations were less than 50 percent funded last year. In some of the neglected crises only a third of what was needed was received, even for lifesaving relief. This year, the United Nations aid appeal for DRC was only 12 percent funded by end-May (UNOCHA, 2021).