Medecins Sans Frontieres:Top-Ten Humanitarian Disasters of 2008

Medecins Sans Frontieres:Top-Ten Humanitarian Disasters of 2008

Medecins Sans Frontieres has published their list and report of the top-ten humanitarian disasters of 2008.  Africa suffers its disproportionate share:

Massive forced civilian displacements, violence, and unmet medical needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan, along with neglected medical emergencies in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, are some of the worst humanitarian and medical emergencies in the world, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reports in its annual list of the “Top Ten” humanitarian crises. The report underscores major difficulties in bringing assistance to people affected by conflict. The lack of global attention to the growing prevalence of HIV-tuberculosis co-infection and the critical need for increased global efforts to prevent and treat childhood malnutrition—the underlying cause of death for up to five million children per year—are also included in the list.

Here’s the press release. Incidentally, MSF has a terrific blog collection on their site (here), with blogging from volunteer MSF doctors in the field.

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Africa, Asia-Pacific, International Human Rights Law, Middle East
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Patrick S. O'Donnell

Of a different order of magnitude, but still of interest, Multinational Monitor has their list of the “10 Worst Corporations of 2008.”

Godfrey Mhlanga
Godfrey Mhlanga

A very welcome report by the MSF, but unfortunately this press release is going to be buried by the never ending Palestinian Israeli conflict. Without derogating anything from the dangerous Middle East conflict it is fair to say that the Arab Israeli conflict subordinates all other crises where the volume of death is higher but less dramatic. Somalia has not had an effective government since Siad Barre. Consequently, it has spiraled into what we have today, a lawless stretch of land in which diseases are endemic and life expectancy is very low. Lately, Somalia has been in the news not because of this very dire situation but because of the pirates who are causing havoc in the Indian Ocean. Ethiopia is in the news because of its involvement in Somalia but not much is said about its less-than-democratic friendly government hence the perennial suffering of the Ethiopian people. The crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been going on for too long. We are in danger of subconsciously accepting the situation in Congo and the whole Central Africa region as a normal way of life in that part of the world. I guess we have already done so to… Read more »