Red Cross workers at a distribution siteWith constant access to information, it can be easy to assume that we are getting a full picture of what is going on in the world. But there are stories that rarely make headlines, and when those stories impact millions of people they can represent an emergency. When it comes to the need for humanitarian action, we call these “silent emergencies” – when the need is great, but the situation has not gotten captured the same attention that others do.

These emergencies can include smaller or medium natural disasters, health emergencies, the ongoing effects of a larger disaster, a disaster that is not sudden but occurs gradually like drought), or the disasters and emergencies that get overshadowed in the news. This is the case, for example, when a conflict makes news, but the resulting impacts, like population movement, damaged infrastructure, and disruption to health care access, does not get attention.

Sometimes, in order to bring attention to these emergencies the story will focus on the sheer number of people who are being impacted. This is true of situations like South Sudan, where millions of people require humanitarian aid, including 1.87 million people who have been displaced within the country, and 2.2 million people who are refugees in neighbouring countries.

In the face of so much need for humanitarian help, it is easy to lose sight of the of the individual people who are impacted.

Faces of humanity

Faces of Humanity: Meet the Stories Behind the Numbers, is a campaign to shine a light on not only silent emergencies that are impacting millions of people around the world, but to share the stories of the people who are impacted and how they are working to realize their dreams despite the odds they are against.

Join us at one of our free, multimedia exhibits to take a look into complex humanitarian responses, the humanitarian workers who are providing aid, and the people who are impacted: