A photo-essay of the of how war is affecting people in Yemen. Doctors Without Borders has called it a “war on civilians.”
And here is a statement from one man:
“Our nation was a poor nation even before this crisis and before this war. Can you imagine now after 14 countries in a coalition surprisingly declared war and huge airstrikes against us while we were safe in our homes? We did not expect such an action to take place, and were not prepared. We cannot prepare for that. We immediately fled to fields, to mountains, and to deserted old villages and buildings. We lived there for a while with wild animals and monkeys! We were terrified, fighting with the animals, suffering diseases and lack of food, lack of everything, lack of safety and protection.
My boy is 18 months old. Whenever he hears warplanes he shouts “Papa, Papa!” Terrified. He is traumatized. He was fat, and now…
We are human beings. We are people, human beings.”
Destroyed temple in Moang Khoune (Xieng Khouangville)
The Lao National Regulatory Authority (LNRA) recently released an impressive, 106-page report on the victims of unexploded ordnance (UXO) over the last few decades. The authors, Mike Boddington and Bountao Chanthavongsa, and all of the associated researchers should be commended for this invaluable contribution, which documents in a systematic fashion the damage done by the war. Researchers covered more than 9,000 villages in Laos (95%), collecting retrospective data from interviews with residents about injuries or deaths caused by mines, large bombs, mortars, bombies, etc. from 1964 to 2008. In all, the report found that more than 50,000 people were injured or killed by UXO in Laos, though the authors acknowledge that this is likely an underestimate, perhaps by as much as 20%. Results revealed that Savannakhet and Xieng Khouang provinces were the two most affected in terms of the number of casualties, which makes sense, given their strategic and geographic importance in the southern and northern parts of the country, respectively.
There’s a bit of controversy surrounding “The Human Security Report,” (HSR) published a couple of weeks ago by Andrew Mack and colleagues at Simon Fraser University. It suggests that improvements in public health over the last few decades have continued to lower mortality rates in many African nations, even during times of war. Looking at Figure 2.1, it just seems counter-intuitive that Under-5 mortality would not increase in more countries during periods of conflict.
Epidemiologist Les Roberts (Columbia Univ.) argues forcefully that the report is not very good scholarship (to put it kindly). In his words, “this report draws unjustified conclusions and will leave the world more ignorant and misguided for its release.” Ouch. Roberts makes a strong case to back up his statement, including points like this: