Fighting in Syria persists driving the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. During the course of 2014, the Geneva II peace talks failed to broker a ceasefire, and violence between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels persisted. Brutal and indiscriminate violence has continued, including a devastating campaign of barrel bombs in Aleppo. Militants groups, boosted by gains in Iraq, have taken control of new territory, driving escalating numbers of displaced.
A geopolitical struggle over Ukraine has increasingly driven a rising humanitarian crisis. Since Spring, pro-Russian separatists have fought against Ukrainian forces in the east of the country. Despite a ceasefire in September, intermittent violence persists in Donetsk and Luhansk. The crisis drives ever-rising humanitarian need.
As South Sudan’s conflict enters its second year, the humanitarian outlook is bleak. On November 9, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development welcomed the signing of the Implementation Matrix and the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, which aims to ensure the protection of civilians and guarantee humanitarian access. Experts, however, are doubtful whether opposing parties are capable of uniting the country, and fighting has continued in several parts of the country.
Since the start of the year, militants took control over large swathes of territory and resources, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Over a million people were displaced and faced ‘deadly life-threatening situations’. A change in government has led to some optimism that the government can retake control of ground. But hundreds of thousands of people remain in need of aid, as winter approaches.
After years of uncertainty, in the early summer Pakistan’s military began a military offensive into North Waziristan in the northwest of the country. The military action caught the humanitarian sector unprepared. The operation continues as of early December, and has forced over 1 million people to leave their homes
Over the course of the year, terrorists have caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. The world’s attention was briefly registered on the scale of the crisis, after the militant group kidnapped 200 girls from a school in April. But efforts to stem the violence have been unsuccessful, as displaced people and refugee numbers have spiraled.
A delicate situation that has the potential to intensify along the Sunni-Shia trend lines, driving displacement and, according to some country experts, drawing the country closer to a sustained civil war.
Barring a diplomatic solution, there is increasing potential for an intense civil war in Libya. The fighting could drive a regional crisis that could send refugees to Tunisia, Egypt, and Europe.
With government forces moving ever-closer to Aleppo, and the potential for the city being completely besieged, the Turkish foreign minister warned in November of the potential for another 2-3 million refugees moving into Turkey. Even realistic best case scenarios for next year involve more violence driven during fighting between ISIS, Syrian government and rebel forces.
With elections scheduled for 2015, and bubbling political tensions, several commentators have warned of the probability of political violence.