MSF (Doctors Without Borders) published the Top 10 Most Underreported Humanitarian Stories of 2006:
- The current conflict in Somalia may generate fleeting worldwide attention, but the abysmal day-to-day living conditions faced by Somalis remains largely forgotten.
- Civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR) once again fell victim to horrific violence in the latest bout of conflict in a string of coups and rebellions that have plagued the country since it achieved independence from France in 1960.
- While many people in the West consider tuberculosis (TB) a disease of a bygone era, the devastating human toll taken by the disease is increasing worldwide.
- The conflict in Chechnya and its consequences on civilians has been almost entirely hidden from the rest of the world. While it may be decreasing in intensity, for many people who lived through the ebb and flow of this bitter twelve-year war, physical and mental scars remain.
- Civilians in Sri Lanka have born the brunt of major fighting that resumed in August 2006 between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), especially in the country's east and northeast.
- Every year, acute malnutrition is implicated in the preventable deaths of millions of children worldwide. At any given moment, more than 60 million young children in the world have signs of acute malnutrition.
- In 2006, people living in the vast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) voted in democratic parliamentary and presidential elections for the first time in decades. The elections may have thrust the DRC into the media spotlight for a brief moment, but the extreme deprivation and violence endured by millions of Congolese continued unabated and out of view.
- Colombia is now in its fifth decade of violent conflict, and only Sudan has more internally displaced people. Massacres, executions, intimidation, and fear remain inescapable parts of everyday life for civilians living in conflict-affected areas. To date, almost three million people inside Colombia have fled their homes as the result of a conflict fueled by the narcotics trade that involves government military forces, paramilitary groups, and armed guerrillas from ELN and FARC.
- With the exception of a short respite following presidential elections in February 2006, violence and insecurity was widespread throughout the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Even with a newly elected government in place, the violence ranged from confrontations between various armed groups in the city and the Haitian National Police and UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), to extensive kidnappings and sexual violence.
- Ongoing conflict in several parts of India — including northeastern Assam and Manipur states highlighted in last year's Top 10 Underreported Humanitarian Stories list — has gone virtually unnoticed by the outside world for years.
Pictures courtesy MSF