CARE report launch: Breaking the Silence - the 10 most under-reported crises of 2023

Febby, Zambia - Breaking the Silence cover

11 January 2024


Download Breaking the Silence 2023
  • Nearly 300 times more coverage of the Barbie movie than the humanitarian crisis in Angola
  • All ten forgotten crises took place in Africa
  • 300 million people will need humanitarian aid in 2024 – almost half of them in Africa

In 2023, there were 273,279 online articles worldwide about the new Barbie movie, but only 1,049 articles about the humanitarian crisis in Angola. Yet, more than seven million people have been affected by droughts, floods, and hunger in the Southern African country.

Angola is once again number one among the top ten forgotten humanitarian crises that received the least media attention last year. For the eighth time, leading humanitarian organisation CARE is publishing our "Breaking the Silence" report to draw attention to these forgotten crises.

Helen Thompson, Director of Programme and Policy CARE International UK, said:

"Global humanitarian needs have never been greater than in 2023. Major emergencies such as the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, the war in Ukraine, and the escalating conflict in the Middle East have dominated the headlines, while others have been completely overlooked.

"For example, there was nearly 300 times more coverage of the Barbie movie than the humanitarian crisis in Angola. It has been a terrible year for women and girls who are often disproportionately affected by emergencies.

"As funding falls further and further behind the increase in humanitarian needs, there is a real danger that the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world, particularly those in Africa, will pay the price."

Conflicts and climate crisis increase hunger in Africa

All ten forgotten crises are in Africa. In Zambia, second on the list, 1.35 million people are affected by hunger. Zambia is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change. While there were over one quarter of a million articles about the new iPhone 15, there were just 1,371 online articles in 2023 about the crisis in Zambia.

Burundi, third on the list, also regularly experiences climate related disasters, such as flooding. Almost 70,000 people have been displaced as a result. Malnutrition is a major problem in Burundi, especially among children.

Deepmala Mahla, Global Humanitarian Director of CARE, said:

"According to the United Nations, around 300 million people worldwide will need humanitarian aid in 2024 - almost half of them in Africa. We must not forget that hunger is almost always man-made. Conflicts, economic shocks, extreme weather, poverty, and inequality are key drivers.

"To save lives, we need more attention and sufficient funding for humanitarian aid. Last year, only 35 percent of the required financial resources were provided for humanitarian aid, which is definitely not enough."

Ten humanitarian crises that did not make the headlines in 2023

  1. Angola – 7.3 million people with humanitarian needs
  2. Zambia – 1.35 million people have too little to eat
  3. Burundi – 5.6 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition
  4. Senegal – 1.4 million people affected by food insecurity
  5. Mauritania – One in four people live in poverty
  6. Central African Republic – Sixth highest child mortality rate in the world
  7. Cameroon – One in six people with humanitarian needs
  8. Burkina Faso – 8.8 million people live below the poverty line
  9. Uganda – Maternal mortality rate is 284 per 100,000 live births
  10. Zimbabwe – Almost 8 million people affected by extreme poverty

Editor’s notes

For media enquiries, please contact David Moore, Media Officer, CARE International UK,

Spokespeople are available for interview, including:

  • Dr Deepmala Mahla, Global Humanitarian Director of CARE
  • Apollo Gabazira, Country Director CARE International in Uganda
  • Juvenal Afurika, Country Director, CARE International Burundi
  • Chikwe Mbweeda, Country Director, CARE Zambia
  • Patrick Sikana, Country Director, CARE Zimbabwe

Methodology: For the eighth time in a row, the international media monitoring service Meltwater examined five million online articles in Arabic, German, English, French and Spanish for CARE in the period from January 1 to September 30, 2023.

From a list of 48 humanitarian crises affecting more than one million people, the ten crises with the lowest media presence were identified.


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