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Protecting and aiding civilians in conflict

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In conflicts around the world, the targeting of civilians and their homes, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure has become routine. People are cut off from food, water, and lifesaving assistance. The IRC advocates with global leaders for actions that uphold the laws of war, protect civilians in conflict, hold violators to account, and allow humanitarian organizations to have greater access to people in need.

In 2021, the IRC assessed the 20 countries at greatest risk of a humanitarian crisis. These 20 countries represent just 10% of the global population, but account for 85% of those in humanitarian need. Watchlist 2021 reveals that the world is facing both unprecedented humanitarian emergencies as well as a political crisis of inaction and global retreat from humanitarian obligations. The international community must take action now, before decades of hard-won progress on reducing poverty, hunger and disease is lost or even reversed.

“2020 will go down as one of the most turbulent years in history, but the next year will be remembered for how we either helped or turned away from those suffering the most,” says IRC president and CEO David Miliband. “Watchlist 2021 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, government leaders, and concerned citizens around the world about the cost of neglecting humanitarian crises—and how they urgently need international attention.”

Read our Watchlist 2021 report for more information, and our additional reports to learn more about our work to aid civilians in conflict. 

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