The refugee crisis fueled by armed conflict in Syria and Iraq tops the list of humanitarian emergencies in Lutheran World Relief’s 2017 Early Warning Forecast, an overview of global hot spots that will command the attention and resources of the international community over the next year.
The regions highlighted in the report are those that LWR is actively monitoring and, in many cases, is already responding to help mitigate the worst effects of a crisis, develop disaster response plans and strengthen community resilience, especially in the most vulnerable rural areas.
Amb. Daniel V. Speckhard (rt.), LWR President & CEO, noted that the international community is confronting tremendous challenges, including regional conflicts, blatant disregard for international humanitarian law, and what the United Nations is calling the highest levels of displacement on record.
At the same time, “we are making real progress in reducing global poverty and now is not the time to turn inward or retreat,” says Speckhard. “The international community must continue to engage, to fund humanitarian response and development, and to support the local communities bearing the brunt of these crises.”
The countries and regions on the 2017 Watch List include:
- Syria & Northern Iraq: War & Massive Civilian Displacement
- The Philippines: Disaster Preparation & Political Instability
- Venezuela: Potential Failed State
- The Lake Chad Region: Consequence of Boko Haram Conflict:
- East Africa: Political Instability & Refugee Flows
- Haiti: Recovery from Hurricane Matthew
- Central America’s Northern Triangle: Increased Violence & Migration
In addition, there are areas where LWR sees signs of hope:
- Building Peace in Colombia
- The Promise of Information Communications Technology
- Economic Growth in the Two Africas: Some Good News & Some Bad