BALTIMORE, Jan. 2, 2019 – Lutheran World Relief (LWR), an international NGO working to develop sustainable solutions to poverty, and IMA World Health, a faith-based agency that helps vulnerable communities to address their public health challenges, have released the 2019 Early Warning Forecast of regions they are monitoring for potential or worsening humanitarian crises over the coming year: Conflict & Climate: Drivers of Disaster.
Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, president & CEO, noted that armed conflict is a thread running through the world's current crises. "These will be two of the most critical driving forces behind humanitarian emergencies over the next year and into the foreseeable future, even if their effects are indirect," he said.
"Armed conflict continues to cause some of the world's largest and most direct humanitarian crises, including the war in Yemen, the ongoing conflict in Syria and fighting in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the source of the highest levels of displacement on record, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. An unprecedented 65.3 million people have been forced from their homes, more than half of them children," Speckhard said.
Speckhard noted that climate change has also been identified as a major driver behind the recent increase in global hunger, after years of promising decline, as well as the cause of severe food crises.
"The negative impact of climate change on global food production, its impact on food security and livelihoods, and increased degradation of natural resources all makes this a vicious circle that threatens to spiral downward without immediate, decisive action," he said.
The countries and regions on the 2019 Watch List include:
- Yemen: the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe
Are superstorms the new normal?
A legacy of suffering in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Undermining the Palestinian health system in East Jerusalem
Venezuela fuels a regional crisis
A regional crisis deteriorates in the Lake Chad Basin
The shrinking humanitarian space
The 2019 Early Warning Forecast can be downloaded at https://lwr.exposure.co/conflict-climate-drivers-of-disaster.