Dec 13, 2018

The countries most at risk of humanitarian disaster in 2019

A child drinks water from a well in Nyamlel, South Sudan. Photo: Stefanie Glinski/AFP/Getty Images

The International Rescue Committee has identified Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Venezuela as the countries most at risk for major humanitarian crises going into 2019.

The big picture: David Miliband, president and CEO of the IRC, told Axios these countries are the "best evidence of the world's fragility." He says the three main takeaways of the report are that the world's worst humanitarian crises are growing, reaching beyond each country's borders, and not heading for near-term solutions.

Miliband told Axios that one of the things that keeps him up at night is that the "traditional sources of compassion and humanitarian assistance in the West are turning their back on these people." According to Miliband, the political climate in the U.S. with respect to refugees "has gone from relatively benign, to quite toxic."

"I hope that America can regain its confidence and be seen as a haven for people fleeing unspeakable suffering."
— IRC CEO David Miliband

The next five countries on the most at-risk list are Central African Republic, Syria, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

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Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.