Suffering in Silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2019

In 2019, over 51 million people suffered in 10 crises away from the public eye. Although for the average person on earth, life is better today than ever before, around 160 million people will require billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance to survive.

Each year, CARE releases its Suffering in Silence report on the 10 most under-reported emergencies taking place around the world. Here are some of these crises:

Village close to Funhalouro district, in the southeast of Mozambique. CARE is distributing drought-resistant seeds, which include sorghum, cowpea, ground nuts, pineapple seedlings, maize and millet, including tools such as a hoe, an axe and a machete to more than 47,000 small scale farmers.


Madagascar ranks among the poorest countries in the world, with three-quarters of its population living on less than US$1.90 per day. It is one of the countries most affected by climate change because it is so vulnerable to natural disasters, such as recurring cyclones, chronic droughts and pests. The country is also extremely dependent on farming and natural resources, which are affected tremendously by these extreme weather events.

At the end of 2019, more than 2.6 million people in Madagascar were affected by the impacts of drought, and more than 916,000 people were in immediate need of food assistance.

 Maingama returnees side, 10 am in the morning. A CARE health center in the South of Chad, about 15 kilometers from the border of the Central African Republic. Mothers holding their babies are lining up in front of a scale and medical staff. Finally, it is Khadija&#039;s turn. She steps out of the crowd and lifts her eight-month-old sister into the black bowl. Although she is only nine years old, she is responsible. During the day her mother needs to work on the fields and her father died a long time ago &ndash; back when conflict in the Central African Republic started to escalate. Today, she and her sister have come to the health center to get additional food. Khadija&#039;s sister is severely malnourished like more than 400,000 children in Chad. CARE employees not only help with oatmeal but also teach Khadija how to prepare food for her little sister. At home Khadija is getting help from her grandmother Fatime, 70 years old. She is worried about the well-being of her grandchildren: &quot;We can eat only once a day - usually we eat rice or millet. During the rainy season, we always try to grow some vegetables, but it&#039;s never enough for all of us. I know it will have effects on the children&rsquo;s development. But what should we do?&quot; (Photo: CARE/Sebastian Wells)</p>

Central African Republic

Since gaining independence in 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered through ongoing, violent conflict.

About 2.6 million people, more than half of the population, need humanitarian assistance and one in four people have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety.

Years of conflict have also taken their toll on people's health, the water supply and sanitation, and make it nearly impossible for people to farm their lands and make a living.

Consequently, 1.8 million people–41% of the population–are in need of food. People are often unable to access to fields because of movement restrictions. This means that people cannot plant and maintain their crops, or hunt and gather. Security concerns along trade routes have also disrupted market activities and have led to food shortages and rising prices.

The community of Mwimba in Lundazi district, in eastern Zambia. 
CARE Zambia's Nutrition at the Center is a program focused on improving maternal and child health in the Eastern Province where malnutrition and stunting are at their highest. It is a health related project that is aimed at improving the nutritional status of women aged 15-49 and children under two by focusing on an integrated strategy that addresses infant and young child feeding, maternal health/nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene and women’s empowerment. It seeks to improve nutrition-related behaviours, use of maternal and child health nutrition services, ensure household adoption of appropriate water and sanitation practices, and to ensure availability and equitable access to quality food.


In Zambia, the effects of climate change are undeniable. Around 2.3 million people in the country are in urgent need of food because of recurring and long-lasting droughts. Temperatures in the region are also rising at about twice the global rate, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Zambia, along with its neighbouring countries, is increasingly being impacted by more extreme weather shocks. Malnutrition is very high in the country, where about 40% of children are stunted⁠—meaning their growth and development was lower than normal due to poor nutrition.

These are are just three of the top 10 under-reported crises of 2019.

Suffering in Silence serves as a call for everyone to speak up for people in crises who are otherwise forgotten. The aim of this report is to analyse those crises that, though affecting millions, have received little of the world’s attention while acknowledging that each emergency is unique in its causes, needs and complexity. The report also asks the question of how to ensure better global attention to humanitarian situations, outlining different ways to shine a light on forgotten crises.

See the full report and find out what you can do to give voice to the millions of people around the world who need our help: