Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Yemen , Where Agents of Good Work Amid Bigots, Disease and Relentless Climate Change. (Opinion)

by Larry Powell

Is the potent "trio" of war,  climate change and religion taking a toll on the world’s most vulnerable? Famine, drought and food insecurity have plagued Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, even before the outbreak of open warfare there in 2015. Since then, thousands have died in the conflict. Millions more face famine and imminent death from drought and starvation.

Saudi Arabia has been bombing its little neighbour for some time now, in a conflict fed by sectarian hatred. Some of it has to do with which of the warring factions within the country believe in which branch of Islam, Sunni or Shi'ite. (Or which subdivision of which branch.) 
As in much of the rest of the world, religion and war are paramount - at the pinnacle of what it apparently means to be "human." This photo depicts a Yemeni fighter praying (in the 1960s.) Photo by Dr. Ulrich Middendrop

But the World Health Organization (a branch of the UN) says the war, as bad as it is, is not the only culprit on the scene. Serious disease is now thrown into the mix, too.

Almost three thousand people are sick and 51 have died of cholera. It’s an acute form of diarrhea caused when people ingest food or water contaminated by the cholera bacteria. If left untreated, the disease can kill within hours. These pathogens are “more likely to spread” in a world made warmer by manmade climate change. And recent heavy rains (said by experts to often be a product of a changing climate), have washed filth from uncollected waste into rivers and streams. Climate change is often named by UN and aid officials as a factor in the widespread droughts in Yemen and Africa which have lead to crop failure, malnutrition and death.

None of this has kept medical workers with the WHO from their heroic rounds. They've been distributing cholera kits, oral rehydration solutions, intravenous fluids and other medical needs to where they're needed. They're also setting up ten oral “rehydration therapy corners” in Sana’a, Yemen’s capitol. 

It is reassuring to know there are people like this who, instead of going into the world to deny climate science, thwart efforts to combat it, or to "smite" enemies and bow down to imaginary beings in the sky, actually help victims of those who do.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Around 22 million children could soon starve without urgent aid, UNICEF warns (+ video)

UN News Centre

Millions of children are on the brink of starvation in the worst humanitarian crisis in decades, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned. Story here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Half-a-billiion children living in crisis-hit countries – UNICEF

    • UN News Centre  
    • Refugee children in Afghanistan. UN photo.
    • Despite significant progress, too many children are still being left behind, with nearly 535 million of them living in harsh conditions, lacking access to decent health, education and protection services. Story here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mosul battle shows link between war and environmental degradation, says U.N. agency

The Washington Post

The United Nations Environment Programme is highlighting the battle by Iraqi forces to reclaim Mosul from the Islamic State as the latest instance in the complex but very real linkage between military conflicts around the world and extreme environmental degradation. Story here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Climate Change Plays a Sinister Role in More Ways Than One

by Larry Powell

Many of us would be surprised to hear that climate change actually played a role in the civil war in Syria, that disastrous conflict that has dragged on for five weary years now. But that’s precisely what the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in the US concluded in a report last year. A terrible drought ravaged that country for at least four years before the war began. It wiped out crops, forcing farm families into urban centres in a mass migration that greatly increased internal tensions. Keep in mind, Syria was already a country rife with poor governance and unsustainable farming and environmental policies. 

Now, using evidence from tree rings covering the past thousand years, the Earth Institute at Columbia University has added some new perspectives. In a study just published in the “Journal of Geophysical Research,” it concludes with confidence, not only was this drought aggravated by our burning of fossil fuels, it was likely the worst in 900 years.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

'Huge Error': Former US Military Chief Admits Iraq Invasion Spawned ISIS


The U.S. is poised to repeat all the same mistakes in Syria that it made in Iraq after 9/11, says former head of Defense Intelligence Agency. Story here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

WHO Deplores Bombing of MSF Clinic in Afghanistatn

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) deplores the bombing of a clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and extends its sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of those killed and injured. This represents a major loss for MSF and the affected community - to whom WHO offers its sympathy and support - and a serious challenge to humanitarian work in Afghanistan.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Becoming Hezbollah's Air Force

Chris Hedges

Those who use violence to shape the world, as we have done in the Middle East, unleash a whirlwind. Our initial alliances -- achieved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dead, some $3 trillion in expenditures and the ravaging of infrastructure across the region -- have been turned upside down by the cataclysm of violence. Thirteen years of war, and the rise of enemies we did not expect, have transformed Hezbollah fighters inside Syria, along with Iran, into our tacit allies. Story here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Arctic may be sea-ice-free in summer by the 2030s

  Nature Communications                                                 Photo by Patrick Kelley   The Arctic could be sea-ice-free during th...