War, hunger, extremism will intensify in 2018: report

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — War, hunger and extremist violence around the world will intensify next year, a Geneva-based think-tank predicted in a new report.

The report published Thursday by ACAPS, a nonprofit that supports the global humanitarian sector with daily monitoring and analysis of 150 nations, examined the current humanitarian crises in 18 countries and the anticipated corresponding needs for 2018. The findings were grim.

“If 2017 did not look good, predictions for 2018 are no better: violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia and Syria next year,” ACAPS director Lars Peter Nissen wrote in the report.

The report, entitled “Humanitarian Overview: An analysis of key crises into 2018,” predicts food security will decline next year in Ethiopia, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, countries where parts of the population are at risk of famine.

Poor water, sanitation, hygiene and health facilities will exacerbate ongoing cholera epidemics next year in Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Yemen, the report said.

The massive uptick in internally displaced people recorded in Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali and Somalia throughout this year is expected to continue rising in 2018. And the number of people in need of protection assistance is likely to inflate next year in Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and among the Rohingya population in both Myanmar and Bangladesh, according to the report.

Meanwhile, upcoming elections or the prospect of elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan and Venezuela will likely heighten tensions and spur violence rather than lead to stability, according to the report.

Inter-communal conflict and Islamic extremist violence in various countries will continue to claim lives, displace families and send more refugees across borders, according to the report.

For instance, ISIS is expected to continue improvised attacks throughout Iraq in 2018, despite the group’s defeat in its main strongholds there. ISIS is also likely to strengthen its small position in Somalia’s Puntland region, clashing with its larger regional rival, al-Shabab, which will expand its own presence and increase the lethality of its attacks, ACAPS predicted.

While some ongoing humanitarian crises are not necessarily expected to worsen, the report predicts they will persist in 2018. Food security, displacement, health and protection are expected to be the most pressing humanitarian needs across all 18 countries next year.

“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,” Nissen said in a statement Thursday.

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