As society develops and our technology advances, humanity is slowly but surely eliminating many of the problems that we face each day. Despite this, there are some issues which are still prevalent around the globe and will likely take a little while longer to address fully.

Two of these unaddressed issues are conflict and poverty. Conflict is an unfortunate side effect of being human so it’s unlikely to ever go away, though it has decreased in recent years due to the communication afforded by modern technology, as well as the conflict-averse attitude of many cultures and governments.

On the flip side, poverty is a much more avoidable issue but it is so widespread that addressing it is extremely challenging. Whether you are looking to help those suffering through poverty or simply want to stay aware of locations that aren’t suitable for holidays, use this shortlist of countries to stay in the know.


Yemen is currently in the midst of a truly awful humanitarian crisis. Statistically, one child under five dies every ten minutes and millions of people are struggling with starvation caused by both conflict and poverty. Issues like malnourishment are particularly harmful to the most vulnerable members of society – children and the elderly.

Many countries, organisations and individuals are making efforts to help Yemen but many of the issues the country faces are a direct result of the conflict in the country. Most look to supply struggling families with necessities and food aid but difficulties and tensions continue to mount. It’s unlikely that this is an issue which will be completely resolved in 2020.


Somalia has battled through civil and political unrest for three decades but its most recent threat is drought and malnourishment. Over the past few years, Somalia has undergone widespread drought, forcing much of the population to leave their ancestral homes in search of water. Many of these people end up in cities where they are presented with other social pressures, whilst the rest are at risk of suffering or dying due to lack of water.

Again, many organisations and countries are working to help the Somalian people by creating wells or boreholes but the truth is, many projects simply aren’t fully funded. It’s unlikely that this will change in 2020 as donors and aid providers become ‘fatigued’ with the Somalian crisis, making them unlikely to donate more.


The political conflict surrounding the Gaza Strip is suffering greatly due to religious and political conflict with roots dating back hundreds of years. This has made it difficult for the region to get back on its feet after a large upheaval in the last century, compounded by more recent sanctions on the country, resulting in nearly half of the population living in refugee camps.

As a result of these factors, the population of Gaza are heavily reliant on outside aid to survive and are especially prone to contracting diseases due to the lack of safe drinking water. Due to the heavy political implications of the Gaza conflict, it is difficult to see these issues concluding in 2020.


Due to a combination of political and ideological conflicts, Syria has become a warzone over recent years with over half of the population being internally displaced and forced to leave their homes. On top of this, many vulnerable families have been forced to leave the country altogether and become refugees, with Turkey playing host to over 3 million alone.

With much of the country reduced to rubble, the Syrian conflict is one of the worst cases seen in the modern era and will require many years to work through, meaning 2020 is unlikely to see its end.

Whilst these four countries are far from the only ones suffering through conflict, poverty or both, they are definitely some of the harshest and most extreme occurrences. If you want to help people in these locations, consider donating or volunteering with an organisation to make a difference.

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