• Haiti and Venezuela are the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that the IRC identified in the Emergency Watchlist, which highlights places where humanitarian crises are expected to deteriorate most in 2023.
  • Hunger is one of the main risks ahead as it is estimated that at least 4.7 million Haitians and 12.3 million Venezuelans are food insecure.

In the Americas, Haiti and Venezuela are the countries  at highest risk of worsening humanitarian conditions over the year ahead, according to a recent report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), but there are other emergencies in the region to keep an eye on, they warned during a webinar on Tuesday.  

In the 2023 Emergency Watchlist, the IRC pointed to chronic violence, climate change and economic turmoil as the main drivers of humanitarian needs worldwide. In the case of Haiti and Venezuela, at least 5.2 million and 7 million people live in need of humanitarian aid respectively, and the IRC identified three particular risks linked to these drivers:

Julio Rank Wright, Regional Vice President for Latin America at the International Rescue Committee, said:

“The crises in Haiti and Venezuela are protracted challenges that are shaking the whole region but, as conflict escalates around the world, competing priorities are draining the attention they get. These countries, however, are not the only places facing risks in the near future: many people in northern Central America and Mexico encounter threats to their safety every day and struggle to cover their most basic needs. 

“As crises deepen, challenges to deliver aid arise. There are gaps in the support and resources allocated by the international community, with Humanitarian Response Plans historically being underfunded or non-existent for certain countries. We call on world leaders to robustly invest in humanitarian work in Latin America that prioritises collaboration leading to concrete funding commitments and a harmonised response.”

In addition to Haiti and Venezuela, during the webinar the IRC drew attention towards other areas in the region:


Read and download the full 2023 Emergency Watchlist


Notes to editors

1. Key IRC recommendations:

2. The IRC is responding throughout Latin America: delivering a population-based response to the Venezuela crisis in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as well as  through local partners in Venezuela; supporting people at risk in northern Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and along the main migration corridors in Mexico, from the southern to the northern borders. Additionally, the IRC is preparing to launch an emergency response through local partners in Haiti, which will promote cholera prevention, mobile health services for internally displaced people and support for gender-based violence survivors.

3. In 2022 the IRC issued a set of recommendations to foster a comprehensive response to the crises in Latin America, including: the need for donors and host states to reach concrete commitments on humanitarian financing, responsibility sharing, and a framework for the harmonisation of migration and humanitarian policies across the region; that UNHCR, the United States and the World Bank utilise their convening powers to engage additional donors—including the European Commission and G20 governments—to rethink the approach of the responses; and the incorporation of lessons learned from multilaterally-supported and funded compact initiatives from other regions.