Conflict induced environmental degradation directly impacts public health. This takes various forms: it ranges from direct pollution caused by munitions to attacks on health infrastructure to health hazards caused by failing state services. For example, the failure of electricity provision or the cessation of garbage collection often lead to public health risks as riskier alternatives are adopted (from trash burning to reliance on private generators running on poor quality fuel).
Displaced communities are particularly vulnerable as they tend to be relegated to peripheral areas afflicted with severe levels of pollution with little means to protect themselves.
The impact of conflict on the environment and on public health usually long outlasts the end of armed hostilities as evidenced by the experiences of Lebanon and Iraq. Organized by the Arab Reform Initiative, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Orient Matters, this webinar will highlight examples of urgent public health issues that need to be addressed in a number of conflict and post-conflict settings in the region.
In particular, it will examine how conflict and reconstruction response can tackle these challenges and address the underlying pollution and the related public health risks that face communities.