World Crises to focus on in 2021

February 28th, 2021.

*Edited March 1st, 2021 at 14:52pm

Article by Hannah Fellerman


Hi Ezelle Family,


I hope you are all doing well.


Today I will be highlighting some of the world’s most important crises to focus on this year, and some of the ways we can help towards finding their solutions.


If you would like to contribute to our blog, please email us with the subject “guest writer” to with some detail about yourself and your writing experience (all experience levels welcome).


Take care and enjoy the article!

- Hannah


World crises to focus on in 2021




For most of us, much of 2020 was focused on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. But for multitudes of people across the world, the main focus was sadly on their daily struggles due to their nation’s crises. Having to deal with the covid-19 virus on top of this, added a further strain and this inflated the tragic experiences they witnessed and suffered from everyday, which still continues.

It is very hard for us living in relatively safe countries to imagine living in a constant state of danger from your own environment or government. However, this puts us in a privileged position where we can take some action to help alleviate some of the suffering experienced by those who are living in this constant state of danger.

Below I will briefly outline five countries’ crises and some ways in which we can help ease their suffering.

Of course, these five countries are not the only countries in a crisis, there are unfortunately many others who equally need our attention and humanitarian aid. These will also be mentioned at the end of the article.


The crisis briefly explained:

  • The Yemen crisis is described as “the world’s largest humanitarian crisis” (CAFD).
  • There has been a long civil war between the Houthi ethnic group and supporters of Yemen’s government.
  • The Yemeni government requested an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia to carry out air strikes across the country against the Houthi. The effects of this have caused the average Yemeni citizens’ destruction.
  • It is estimated by the UN that more than 10,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict, with 6,000 people killed in 2016 alone.
  • Yemen is one of the world’s poorest countries. It is “being pushed to the brink of catastrophe”. Sixty per cent of the Yemeni population (14 million) suffers from hunger and a child dies every ten minutes because of preventable diseases.
  • 24 million people are dependent on international aid.
  • Severe water shortages in conjunction with airstrikes, sniper attacks and a fuel impediment have turned the conflict into a humanitarian crisis.
  • The economy and public services such as hospitals and clinics are collapsing, and many families have spent all their savings as they struggle to earn a living.
  • 462,000 children under five are suffering from intense malnutrition.
  • 3 million people have been recorded by the UN as internally displaced, nearly half of them are children.
  • 1,900 of the country's 3,500 health facilities are either not running or partially running, leaving half the population without satisfactory healthcare. According to the UN, as of November 2020 there has been more than 900,000 suspected cholera cases and 2,192 related deaths were reported. More than half of the cases are children.

(Read more).

Charities to support aiding Yemen:


Islamic Relief


MSF / Doctors without Borders

Human Appeal

Ummah Welfare Trust

Save The Children


*United Nations world Food Programme


Hashtags to use on social media:

#yemen #yemencantwait #stopthewaronyemen #saveyemen #yemengenocide #stopthehate #yemencrisis #saveyemenschildren #civilwar #saudiarabia #yemenwomenleaders #stoparmingsaudi #yemeni #yemenchildren #houthi #activist #natgeo



Merchandise to buy to support Yemen:

Pray for Yemen stickers


Books to read to understand the crisis:

Yemen What Everyone Needs to Know

(release date: March 4th, 2021)

Yemen in Crisis: The Road to War

(available now)

Beyond the Arab Cold War: The International History of the Yemen Civil War 

(available now)


The crisis briefly explained:

  • The Syrian civil war started with peaceful protests, where young people took to the streets in March 2011, seeking government reforms. The movement was a part of the Arab Spring that was in the Middle East and North Africa. March 15th, known as the “day of rage,” is internationally acknowledged as the anniversary of the Syrian civil war.
  • Since then, households have suffered under cruel conflict “that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, torn the nation apart, and set back the standard of living by decades” (World Vision).
  • The Syrian refugee crisis is the biggest one of our time.
  • Approximately 5.6 million Syrians are refugees, and additionally 6.2 million people are displaced within Syria. Almost 12 million people in Syria are in need of
  •  humanitarian aid and roughly half of the people affected by the crisis are children.
  • Healthcare centres, hospitals, schools, water and sanitation systems are broken-down or demolished. Historic attractions and marketplaces have been diminished to debris
  • The civil war has turned into a sectarian conflict, with religious groups on opposite sides. This affects the whole region and is heavily influenced by international interventions.
  • 70% of Syrians live in extreme poverty.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced in northern Syria. Aid workers are struggling to meet their needs for shelter, clothing, and heat.
  • The bulk of Syria’s 5.6 million refugees have fled across borders to neighbouring countries but stayed in the Middle East.
  • At the highest point of the European migrant crisis in 2015, 1.3 million Syrians requested sanctuary in Europe. But the amount of new asylum seekers has declined since then.
  • The United States admitted 18,000 Syrian refugees between October 2011 and December 31st, 2016.

(Read more)


Charities to support aiding Syria:

Islamic Relief 

Save The Children 

Syria Relief

Muslim Hands 

Muslim Aid 

British Red Cross 

Global Relief Trust 


*United Nations World Food Programme


Hashtags to use on social media:

#syrianrefugees #syria #syrianchildren #savemuslim #saveghouta #prayforsyria #childrenofsyria #savethechildrenofsyria #savethechildren #refugees #humanity #ghoutagenocide #easternghouta #ghouta #refugeeswelcome #revolution #freedom #family #awakened #rights


Merchandise to buy to support Syria:

Threads of Syria


Books to read to understand the crisis:

No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

(Available now)

My Country: A Syrian Memoir 

(Available now)

My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis

(Available now)


The crisis briefly explained:

  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict originates at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1947, the United Nations adopted the Partition Plan, which aimed to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.
  • In 1948, the State of Israel was created. This started the first Arab-Israeli War. The war ended in 1949 with Israel’s victory, but 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and the territory was divided into three sections: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River), and the Gaza Strip.
  • After the 1956 Suez Crisis and Israel’s invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria signed mutual defence pacts in expectation of a possible social control of Israel troops.
  • In 1967, Israel started the Six-Day War. Israel gained control over the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. Six years later, Egypt and Syria launched an attack on Israel to recover their lost territory. The conflict did not result in significant advantage for Egypt, Israel, or Syria, but Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat proclaimed the war a victory for Egypt as it meant that Egypt and Syria could negotiate over previously lost territory.
  • In 1979, after a number of cease-fires and peace negotiations, Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords; a peace treaty that ended the thirty-year conflict between Egypt and Israel.
  • Palestinian self-determination and self-governance stayed unsolved. In 1987, Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip rose up against the Israeli government (the first intifada). The 1993 Oslo I Accords mediated the conflict, setting up a model for the Palestinians to govern themselves in the West Bank and Gaza, and enabled shared recognition between the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s government.
  • In 1995, the Oslo II Accords expanded on the first agreement, adding provisions that mandated the complete withdrawal of Israel from 6 cities and 450 towns in the West Bank.
  • In 2000, Israel’s control over the West Bank, a stagnating peace process, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque in September 2000 resulted in the Palestinians launch of the second intifada, which lasted until 2005. In response, the Israeli government started the construction of a barrier wall around the West Bank in 2002, despite opposition from the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
  • In 2013, the US attempted to re-start the peace process in the West Bank. However, peace talks were disrupted when Fatah; the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party, formed a unity government with its rival faction Hamas in 2014. In late August 2014 a cease-fire deal was negotiated by Egypt, but only after 73 Israelis and 2,251 Palestinians were killed.
  • In March and May 2018, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip conducted protests at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The last protest happened in the seventieth anniversary of the Nakba, the Palestinian exodus that coincided with Israeli independence. Most of the protesters were peaceful, but some threw rocks and other objects. According to the United Nations, 183 demonstrators were killed and more than 6,000 were wounded by live ammunition. In May 2018, "fighting broke out between Hamas and the Israeli military in what became the worst period of violence since 2014” (CFR).
  • In 2018, the Trump governance cancelled funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, and resettled the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This was met with approval from the Israeli leadership but was condemned by Palestinian leaders and others in the Middle East and Europe.
  • In January 2020, the Trump administration released its “Peace to Prosperity” plan, which has been rejected by Palestinians due to its support for future Israeli acquisition of settlements in the West Bank and control over an “undivided” Jerusalem.
  • There were 3,166 new units in West Bank settlements announced in 2017. The unemployment rate stands at 47 percent in the Gaza Strip. There was an estimated 2,324 number of deaths during the fifty-day war of June/July 2014.

(Read more)

Charities to support aiding Palestine:

Action Aid 

Al Mustafa Welfare Trust 

Islamic Aid 

Medical Aid for Palestinians 

Islamic Relief 

Muslim Hands 

Save The Children 


*Jews for Justice for Palestinians

*United Nations World Food Programme


Hashtags to use on social media:

#palestinian #palestine #freepalestine #gaza #jerusalem #palestina #palestinewillbefree #savepalestine #alquds #israel #arab #bds #longlivepalestine #domeoftherock #freedom #ramallah #westbank #alaqsa #savegaza



Merchandise to buy to support Palestine:

Palestine t-shirts and solidarity items


Books to read to understand the crisis:

 The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

(available now)

On Palestine

(available now)

 Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel

(available now)

Central African Republic

The crisis briefly explained:

  • In late 2012, a few armed groups from the North of the country formed an organisation known as the Séléka, and launched a rebellion ending in a coup.
  • As a result, groups of armed military units using the name of Anti-Balaka formed. The conflict became extremely violent, with both sides committing atrocities, “causing widespread destruction and a humanitarian crisis” (Concern USA) that has made over a million people leave their homes. Despite many attempts to negotiate peace, the crisis continues to exacerbate.
  • Figures from 2017 showed: 2.5 million people lack reliable access to food, 2.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 592,000 are internally displaced and 513,000 are now refugees in other countries.
  • Since gaining independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic has been overrun with political imbalance, underdevelopment, and periods of violent conflict. However, the sectarian side to the current conflict is quite new.
  • The country has a population of both Muslim and Christian groups. Since independence, social relations between the two groups have mostly been peaceful. While people from both religions live in the country, the north is mainly Muslim and the south is mostly Christian. Since independence, the majority Christian population has mostly held political and economic power.
  • The Séléka, whilst a majority Muslim force, did not start out with religious motivations. The group, signifiing “Union” in the Sango language, started fighting government armies in 2007. The following civil war was resolved with peace agreements that promised that the North, and particularly Muslims, would be better represented in the government — a promise that was for the most part unfulfilled.
  • By March 2013, the rebels had captured the capital city of Bangui, and forcibly removed president François Bozizé. Séléka leader Michel Djotodia then declared himself President. Séléka troops spread in the country and there were reports of distributed violence against civilians. In consequence, the Anti-Balaka, mainly Christian self-defence military group formed. The situation spiralled and almost half the capital’s population fled to unofficial camps. Over 100,000 people took refuge in the city’s airport. Because of international pressure, at the end of 2013 Djotodia stepped-down and a transition government was formed in his place.
  • As of 2017, half the population needed humanitarian aid. Yet, escalating violence has made it increasingly unsafe for non-governmental organisations to work in the country. The UN has reported a noticeable increase in attacks on humanitarian volunteers, which has led some organisations to pause their efforts or stop completely. As of 207, funding was also less than 30% for the UN-led humanitarian response plan.
  • As of 2016, life expectancy was just under 52 years.
  • CAR is consistently ranked at or near the bottom of the UNDP’s annual Human Development Index, deeming it the least developed country in the world.

(Read more)

Charities to support aiding Central African Republic:

Concern Worldwide 

War Child 

Islamic Relief 


Humanity & Inclusion 

Mercy Corps 


Islamic Help 

*United Nations World Food Programme 


Hashtags to use on social media:

#africa #centralafricanrepublic #asefce_international_rca #centralafrica #coop_agricole #songha #centrafrique #bangui #car #minusca #everydayafrica #unitednations #humanitarian



Merchandise to buy to support CAR:

Refugee Artisans of Worcester (US)


Books to read to understand the crisis:

 State of Rebellion: Violence and Intervention in the Central African Republic

(available now)

Making Sense of the Central African Republic

(available now)

 The Central African Republic: From "Pre-Genocide" to Genocide?

(available now)

Xinjiang, China

The crisis briefly explained:

  • Xinjiang, is situated in the far northwestern region of China. It has large numbers of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and some other Muslim communities. It is more similar in culture, language and religion of Central Asia than of China.
  • The vast Taklamakan Desert is in the centre of the region, and multiple mountains and traditional oasis cities lie in the south. The region is flush in natural resources and is home to some of China’s largest oil deposits.
  • Since it took over power in 1949, the Communist Party has ruled the region heavily. To many Uyghurs, Xinjiang is referred to as East Turkestan, a name mutually used by two independent governments that existed before the takeover by the Communists.
  • Minority groups in Xinjiang report they aren’t granted jobs or contracts due to widespread racial discrimination.
  • The hostility has sometimes resulted in violence, including attacks on police officers and civilians. In 2009, nearly 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed in riots in Urumqi, the locations capital.
  • In 2016, a new Communist Party leader, Chen Quanguo, moved to Xinjiang from Tibet. He starte carrying out an intense campaign of subjugation, putting huge “numbers of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other minority groups in re-education camps” (NY Times).
  • Mr. Chen ordered an increase in the use of police investigation, in the form of high-tech facial recognition observation and police checkpoints. China has also attempted to control the development of the Uyghur population. Researchers state it has used restrictive methods like forced sterilisations.
  • Ample amounts of children in Xinjiang have been placed in boarding schools which are designed to assimilate and indoctrinate them, reported in the government’s published plans. The authorities have also carried out the destruction of many mosques and shrines and turned others into tourist sites.
  • Officials have held more than one million people in imprisonment camps in Xinjiang. A wide range of behaviour can lead to detainment, which includes acts of religious devotion, travel to certain countries, breaking rules of birth restrictions or installing mobile phone apps that permit encrypted messaging.
  • The authorities firstly denied the collective punishments. Then they self-confessed what they called a vocational training program designed to stop terrorism, separatism and religious extremism by providing people job skills and Chinese language education. Those who have been held in camps describe a stringent prison environment filled with repetitive political indoctrination and terrorising periods of violence and physical mistreatment by guards.
  • In 2019, the Chinese government said they had decreased the program and released most of the prisoners, a declaration that was confronted with scepticism by researchers and activist groups. Even though there were signs that some camps had been closed and some prisoners released, China has also continued the expansion of detention camps in the region, most notably high-security prisons.
  • The region also experienced a recorded upsurge in arrests, trials and prison sentences, according to official data made available in 2019. Additionally, the authorities have forced work regimes in Xinjiang that critics report most likely includes forced labour.
  • On the final day of the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that China was carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim communities.
  • The statement was welcomed by exiled Uyghurs as a long awaited acknowledgment of the magnitude of oppression in Xinjiang. It was also criticised as a move that was delayed for too long.
  • In his declaration, Mr. Pompeo state the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang had committed crimes against humanity including absolute imprisonment, forced sterilisation, torture, forced labour and “draconian restrictions” on freedom of religion, expression and movement.

​(Read more)

Charities to support aiding Xinjiang:

Charity Right  

Uyghur Human Rights Project 

Save Uighur 

Ummah Welfare Trust 

One Nation 

Uyghur Tribunal 

Human Aid 

*Amnesty International


Hashtags to use on social media:

#uyghur #uyghurs #uighur #china #muslim #saveuyghur #uyghurmuslims  #uygur #islam #xinjiang #rkistan #freeuyghur #kashgar #eastturkistan #eastturkestan #prayforuyghur #uyghurlivesmatter #uyghurgirl #uighurmuslims



Merchandise to buy to support Uyghur and Muslim Minorities in Xinjiang:

Uyghur Lives Matter T-Shirt


Books to read to understand the crisis:

Inner Asian Frontiers of China

(available now)

Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia

(available now)

The War on the Uyghurs: China's Campaign Against Xinjiang's Muslims

(available now)

Other countries in crisis


Sadly, there is a lengthy list of other countries in crisis today. I recommend anyone reading this to do their own research on the following countries and their crises. A great resource to start with is the Crisis Group where the full list can be found including the five countries I have written about today.


Turn landscape on moble to view full table:



Europe and Central Asia

Latin America and Caribbean

Middle East and North Africa

Burkina Faso






Democratic Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo






South Sudan






Côte d’Ivoire





Sierra Leone


Korean Peninsula

Taiwan Strait






Sri Lanka









Bosnia And Herzegovina



North Macedonia






Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Russia (Internal)















El Salvador










Saudi Arabia

United Arab Emirates






Western Sahara



It is understandably saddening to learn about the crises I have discussed today. The fact that these five countries are only a tiny percentage of crises taking place across the world, means that we have an extremely long way to go until all of these crises are eased.

Nevertheless, I hope my attempt to shed some light on them will assist with and add to the vast support that these countries and others suffering due to war, famine, oppression and so on need.

If you cannot help with your wealth, you can help with your voice. Using social media to spread awareness and pressure oppressive governments and regimes is a very powerful tool that we are fortunate to have.

I pray that this year we can all be in a position to bring more social change to help ease the suffering of our brothers and sisters in humanity.


Make sure to use the hashtag #IamEzelle when you share this article.



If you have any comments on today’s topic, please leave them below.



Hannah Fellerman is the founder of Ezelle, who started the brand to combine both design and social change as these are two of her biggest passions; you can read more on our about page.


All photograph based images used in this article are Royalty Free.


References and further reading:


  1. Top 10 crises the world should be watching in 2020 ( ) , 2020 Emergency Watchlist, Rescue, January 7th, 2020,

  2. 8 Of The Worst Humanitarian Crises To Know In 2021 ( ), Olivia Giovetti, Concern Worldwide US, December 22nd, 2020,

  3. Yemen Crisis Explained ( ), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, 11th December, 2020,

  4. Syrian Crisis ( ), 2020, Unicef,

  5. Syrian refugee crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help ( ), Kathryn Reid, March 15th, 2020, World Vision,

  6. 12 Books about Syria to help you learn about the ongoing conflict ( ), Kareem Shaheen, April 18th, 2018, Book Riot,

  7. Israel and Palestine Events of 2020 ( ), Kenneth Roth, 2020, Human Rights Watch,

  8. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Recent Developments ( ), February 26th, 2021, Council on Foriegn Relations,

  9. Forgotten Conflicts 2021: When Will the Crisis in the Central African Republic End? ( ), Bruce Biber, Inter Press Service,

  10. Violence in the Central African Republic Recent Developments ( ), Council on Foriegn Relations,

  11. The Central African Republic Crisis, Explained ( ), September 26th, 2017, Concern Worldwide US,

  12. China Events of 2020 ( ), Kenneth Roth, 2021, Human Rights Watch,

  13. China’s persecution of the Uighurs is a moral outrage – the UK must show leadership ( ), Freddie Hayward, 15th January, 2021, NewStatesman,

  14. The History of China’s Muslims and What’s behind their Persecution ( ), Kelly Anne Hammond, May 24th, 2019, The Conversation,

  15. China’s Oppression of Muslims in Xinjiang, Explained ( ), Austin Ramzy, January 20th, 2021, The New York Times,

  16. The best books on Uyghur Nationalism ( ), Michael Dillon, Five Books,

  17. Humanitarian crisis: What can I do to help? ( ), March 13th, 2017, BBC,

  18. Watch List 2021 (, January 29th, 2021, Crisis Group,

  19. Social Media for Social Good: Raising Awareness of Jordan's Water Crisis (, Tetra Tech, August 28th, 2020, 3BL CSR Wire,