State of the Humanitarian System 2022 | Briefing: Armed conflict

20 Dec 2022

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Armed conflicts, which are on the rise, have a close relationship with humanitarian need. Syria and Yemen, both dominated by protracted conflicts, were the two largest humanitarian crises throughout the study period, and in 2021 the largest populations in need were in Ethiopia, Yemen, DRC and Afghanistan. Although most humanitarian responses are in conflict-affected countries, humanitarians continue to struggle to gain access to the most affected communities as well as to understand their own effect on conflict dynamics.

Conflicts are contributing to increasing humanitarian needs 
Armed conflicts drive and exacerbate hunger 
Humanitarians are struggling to reach many conflict-affected communities 
There is little evidence of how humanitarian aid affects conflicts 


Please also see Briefing Note on the Shrinking Space for Principled Humanitarian Action


About ALNAP’s State of the Humanitarian System report 

Humanitarian action can be a lifeline to people experiencing the worst that conflict and disaster can inflict. For over a decade, ALNAP’s State of the Humanitarian System report (SOHS) has provided a unique, evidence‑based understanding of the system and how well it works for affected people. Based on a huge body of evidence including exclusive research with crisis-affected people and practitioners, SOHS addresses key questions about performance and effectiveness in areas such as hunger and mortality reduction, as well as giving a comprehensive picture of funding, resource flows, staffing and organisations. Consultations with people affected by crises were central to the research from the outset, and shaped the focus of the report. This edition of the SOHS looks at the period from January 2018 to December 2021 - a period that encompassed the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as multiple armed conflicts - and draws comparisons with previous editions to take the long view on trends, accomplishments and challenges in the humanitarian system.