The Emergency Watchlist report is the IRC’s assessment of the 20 countries at greatest risk of new humanitarian emergency each year. For the past decade, this report has helped the IRC determine where to focus our emergency preparedness efforts, successfully predicting on average 85-95% of the 20 countries facing the worst deteriorations.
This set of 20 countries provides a unique lens to understand the global humanitarian situation. Unprecedented levels of need are concentrated within the small number of Watchlist countries. These 20 countries are home to just 13% of the global population and account for a mere 1.6% of global GDP. Yet they represent 90% of people in humanitarian need, 81% of people globally who are forcibly displaced, 80% of people that are acutely food insecure, and 89% of conflict-related civilian deaths. If we can understand what is happening in these 20 countries—and what to do about it—then we may, finally, have a chance to start reducing the scale of human suffering in the world.