They suffer from hunger, violence, poverty – but their fate too often remains hidden.
Every year, the aid organization Care publishes the Suffering in Silence report. It lists humanitarian crises that occur far too rarely in the media. This year, too, the association identified ten crisis areas where this was the case. For comparison: last year there were just 512 news reports about Zambia, where according to Care 1.2 million people are starving – worldwide! On the other hand, there were 360,000 reports about the interview of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan with Oprah Winfrey.
Karl-Otto Zentel, General Secretary of Care Germany on BILD: “Of course it’s human not to be able to perceive all the suffering in the world when there’s a flood of news. But we should at least take a closer look now and then.”
The number of people in need of humanitarian aid is at an all-time high. The same applies to the number of people fleeing: 82.4 million people worldwide are refugees, internally displaced persons or asylum seekers.
In the period from January 1st to September 30th, 2021, Care analyzed and evaluated more than 1.8 million online articles. After Zambia, the crisis in Ukraine (801) was the least reported. BILD shows three fates from the “forgotten crisis countries”.
More and more people on the planet are experiencing the negative effects of climate change. For example, farmer Mary Mwiche (68) from Chasosa in Zambia. In your country (18.4 million inhabitants), 60 percent of the population live below the poverty line of 1.90 euros per day. Life is particularly hard for people in rural areas.
Mwiche: “My day starts very early. I have got many problems. I can only move very slowly and have no one to help me.” She has repeatedly struggled with long periods of drought.
Farmers in Zambia depend on drought-resistant seeds. Care has trained more than 4,000 farmers to practice climate-friendly agriculture. Mwiche: “Since using drought-resistant seeds, I finally have enough to eat and can provide my three grandchildren with a variety of foods to improve their diet and mine.”
poverty and violence
Guatemala sits on the narrow land bridge that connects North and South America. It is on the route of many migrants heading towards Mexico and the United States. Most come from countries like El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua. They often have no papers and are sent back to Guatemala by the Mexican authorities when trying to enter Mexico. Migrant shelters are overcrowded. As a result, many of them live on the streets and are exposed to attacks by criminal groups.
This is what Esmirna Medina (21) and her children Luinyelber (3) and Eulimar (1) from Venezuela experienced: “We were robbed two weeks ago, and my son has been wearing the same clothes ever since. We’ve had nights where we almost froze to death. But that’s the only clothing we have.” She lost sight of her husband while fleeing. Without him, she travels by bus with her children and sleeps on the street.
Farmer Habo Jibji (40, husband and father of 7 children) lives in the village of Rafa in Niger. In the country, 80 percent of the approximately 25 million inhabitants live in rural areas. More than 1.8 million children are dependent on food aid, and 45.7 percent of children between the ages of six months and five years suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Habo Jibji says; “Corona has destroyed our economy. Many businesses are bankrupt. People no longer go out because they are very afraid of catching the virus.”
He processes peanuts into oil and sells it on. But the money is far from enough. “We hardly have anything to eat. If we’re lucky, we eat twice a day. If we can’t go back to our normal jobs soon, the situation will become even more hopeless and we will starve,” he says.
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