Likely developments and corresponding needs of major humanitarian crises 

Food security, displacement, health, protection and humanitarian access are likely to be the most pressing humanitarian challenges in 2018, according to the Humanitarian Overview: An analysis of key crises into 2018, which was launched by ACAPS today.

This valuable analysis follows the ACAPS publications Crisis Overview 2015 and Crisis Overview 2016, which have helped to deepen the collective understanding of how needs have evolved in some of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world.

Humanitarian Overview examines major humanitarian crises worldwide to identify likely developments and corresponding needs.

“The future of aid will be shaped by more forecasting analysis: we need to be able to better predict future trends, shocks and humanitarian needs. This report is an important step in that direction,” said Lars Peter Nissen, ACAPS Director.

The report focuses on countries where the crisis trend indicates a deterioration in 2018 and a corresponding increase in need. It also includes countries where crisis is not predicted to worsen, but is likely to remain severe: Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria.

What will be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018?

For each crisis the ACAPS team identified the main drivers of the current situation in order to better understand and predict the future trends. Food security, displacement, health, and protection are expected to be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018.

  • Food security is likely to deteriorate into 2018 in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen, and there are risks of pockets of famine in these countries.
  • Massive increase of IDPs recorded in CAR, Congo, DRC, Iraq, Mali, and Somalia throughout the year is likely to continue rising into 2018.
  • Poor WASH and health facilities are likely to further exacerbate ongoing cholera crises in Congo, DRC, Nigeria, and Yemen into 2018.
  • Number of people in need of protection assistance is likely to increase in 2018 in DRC, Iraq, Libya, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, and among the Rohingya population.

Humanitarian access is also a major issue. Throughout 2017 conflict and targeted attacks have restricted humanitarian operations, particularly in Afghanistan, CAR, DRC, Myanmar, Somalia and Yemen in 2017.

“2017 was characterised by a series of tragic records such as the highest level of cholera cases in Yemen ever and the highest number of IDPs in CAR since 2014. 2018 does not look like it will show any particular improvement, but by better forecasting future needs we can contribute to better plan more efficient humanitarian interventions”, said Mr. Nissen.




Countries covered

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, CAR, Congo, DRC, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.


Media contact

Caroline Draveny 
ACAPS Communications Manager

Phone: +41 79 763 05 66

In the media

Expect more war, hunger and extremism in 2018, Reuters, 30 November 2017

War, hunger, extremism will intensify in 2018: Report, ABC News, 30 November 2017