Some analysts looked at the 2012 elections in Somalia as a possible turning point for the country, and the first months afterwards saw a renewed sense of optimism. Unfortunately, that possibility has yet to materialise and the country continues to be plagued by security concerns. In fact, the UN has warned that a food crisis similar to that witnessed in 2011 is possible if current aid funding is not increased significantly. Operational difficulties are evident; in August 2013, MSF decided to pull out of Somalia due to safety reasons. Since then, the security situation has continued to deteriorate.
The last couple of weeks have seen a rise of political conflict with potential security ramifications to NGO`s operating in Thailand and Venezuela.
In January 2014, Bangladesh held elections surrounded by chaos and clashes. The ruling Awami League won one of the most violent elections in history, and the situation in the country remains tense. Protests and political gatherings in Dhaka have been taking place for the last weeks in Gulshan-2, where not only the main opposition party but also foreign aid agencies and INGOs have their country offices. Political instability in the past has impeded humanitarian and development work, forcing agencies to halt cash-based transfers and undermining disaster preparedness efforts.
On February 2nd, protests broke out in Rakhine state, an area of constant instability in Myanmar. Some 3,000 people gathered in Sittwe to demand more weaponry and powers for local police. According to different sources, protesters were also “calling for INGOs to leave the locality within a week.” Referencing the longstanding clashes between Muslims and Buddhists, which were particularly violent in 2012 and 2013, protesters carried banners stating “do not accept the countries who bias toward Bengali”, and “don't want UN organisations that bias toward Bengali”.