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6 Humanitarian Crises that Need Our Attention

According to the latest UN figures, nearly 300 million people in 72 countries will require humanitarian assistance and protection this year. Our watchlist below outlines six humanitarian emergencies that we believe need special attention in 2024, specifically for the women affected.

6 top crises graphic 2024

Afghanistan 

Compounding crises have hurt Afghanistan over the past three years. Two decades of war and the exit of U.S. military control in 2021 left gaping holes in aid and the near elimination of women’s rights. Unable to attend university, visit a beauty salon, or even take a walk in the park, women are desperate for spaces where they can be together, learn, and grow. Last year, a series of powerful earthquakes and the forced return of 1.7 million refugees from Pakistan is overloading Afghanistan’s fragile system – women are dying in childbirth, families are living in tents, and famine is around the corner.  

How Women for Women International is responding: 

Since 2002, we have operated in five provinces of Afghanistan, training 130,226 women in their preferred vocation and how to save money – equipping them to be providers and decisionmakers in their community. Despite the growing crises, we have continued our full program across the country as well as emergency response in Herat and Torkham – providing shelter, clothing, hygiene kits, maternity care, and mental health services to earthquake survivors and returning refugees. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 

DRC has an extensive history of violence, brutal oppression by the colonial regime, and widespread violence amid the country’s struggle for independence. As of today, a record 6.9 million people are internally displaced in DRC. Women and girls suffer disproportionately from high rates of violence and extreme poverty throughout DRC, and services like healthcare, psychosocial support, security, and justice for survivors of violence are limited. 

How Women for Women International is responding: 

Since 2004, our programming in DRC has trained women in both practical skills and social power. A core component of our training is access to Village Savings Loan Association (VSLAs) to generate income and save money. 98% of our DRC participants report saving a portion of their earnings by the time they graduate, compared to 23% at enrollment. As tensions rise, we are continuing our Men’s Engagement Program, which effectively curbs domestic violence and money control.  

Myanmar

The atrocities committed against the Rohingya people by Myanmar military forces have been determined to be acts of genocide. Right now, 2.5 million people are displaced and the 600,000 stateless Rohingya remaining in Myanmar face discrimination and overwhelming human rights abuses. Women and girls are especially at risk. Conservative cultural and traditional norms within the Rohingya community also prevent access to education for most adolescent girls and women. 

How Women for Women International is responding: 

Through our partnership with the Center for Social Integrity (CSI), a locally registered NGO, we are supporting Rohingya women and adolescent girls to improve their basic literacy, numeracy, and skills, and to build their capacity to become more meaningfully engaged within their communities. We have also responded to the recent cyclone destruction with emergency aid and funding to rebuild training centers. 

Palestine

Since October 2023, over 24,000 people in Gaza have been killed and 85% of the population has been displaced. Murders, domestic violence, and economic turmoil is also on the rise in the West Bank, where people are living under a blockade. Access to food and healthcare is severely restricted. Even before this latest escalation, Palestinian women experienced high levels of intimate partner violence and discrimination. 

How Women for Women International is responding: 

In the near-term, we are supporting Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) in Gaza and the West Bank to distribute lifesaving food, warm clothing, blankets, diapers, hygiene kits, and trauma-informed counseling. We are also committed to launching our holistic Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program in Palestine once it is possible to do so. We know from our 30-year history that when you invest in women survivors of war, they create more peaceful households, communities, and societies—building bridges across what might appear to be impossible divides. 

Sudan

Since fighting broke out in April of 2023, 25 million people (more than half the population) need humanitarian assistance. More than 9,000 people have been killed and 7 million people are displaced. Our local partners tell us women are being raped, sold into slavery, and killed at alarming rates. 

How Women for Women International is responding: 

Through our local Conflict Response Fund partners in Sudan, we are meeting women’s most urgent needs like food, housing, and healthcare. Additionally, we are providing trauma counseling for survivors of gender-based violence, documenting cases of rape, and conducting community prevention programs. 

Syria

After more than a decade of civil war, Syria is suffering the largest displacement crisis in the world. 15.3 million people are now in need of aid, but due to escalating violence, other international actors have been forced to stop their support within Syria. Recent earthquakes have only worsened the problems, and physical and sexual violence against women is on the rise.  

How Women for Women International is responding: 

Since 2003, we've served Syrian refugees in Iraq with our holistic programming—helping women build skills, earn money, and create new lives. Since 2020, we have piloted Stronger Women, Stronger Nations within Syria proper. Last year, after the devastating 7.8 earthquake, we also provided emergency relief, which is still in great need. Your gift today will provide cash assistance, dignity kits, and psychosocial support.