Mid-December 2022, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) published its annual Emergency Watchlist, identifying the 20 countries in the world most at risk to face a severe humanitarian crisis or a deterioration of an ongoing humanitarian crisis in 2023.

Once again, our unique methodology based on 67 indicators and discussions with key stakeholders in the region, concluded that the situations in 5 West African countries are of high concern. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria are all countries where conflict, climate change, and economic turmoil impact the lives of millions of people and limits their access to quality health, education, and protection services, food, and sometimes, even to benefit from humanitarian assistance. These countries need the world’s attention to help displaced and host populations survive, recover, and rebuild their lives.

This report aims to dive into these contexts and unpack the accelerators of the humanitarian crisis to then better identify the guardrails that decision makers need to rebuild so people can move from harm to home.

Modou Diaw

IRC Regional Vice President for West Africa