Tuesday, March 22, 2005

understanding humanitarian crises

pic of graffiti

a nyt article on understanding the dynamics of humanitarian crises (via worldchanging):

Horrible though the genocidal spasms in Rwanda and the aerial bombings in Sudan have been, the vast majority of those who die in African war zones are not done in directly by warriors. Rather, it is the disruption that a few thousand armed men in ragtag militias can create in the lives of millions of civilians that send so many innocents to their graves.

In recent months, aid workers have begun providing a clearer picture of exactly why so many Africans die when conflict flares. Studies of two different war zones, by Physicians for Human Rights and by the International Rescue Committee, concluded separately that the major blame lies with the conditions created by wars in extremely fragile societies.

The first killer is flight...
Most deaths, the survey found, were due to maladies that are easily preventable and treatable in other parts of the world, such as malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections and malnutrition [the "second killer"]. Less than 2 percent of the deaths were caused by violence.

the worldchanging post goes on to provide additional commentary and links regarding war and associated humanitarian crises.

(picture is of a graffiti'ed parking lot on arch st. btwn. 20th and 21st.)

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