Fixing Broken Health Systems in the Aftermath of Conflict


Conflict continues to afflict the globe at a seemingly undiminished rate. The world’s attention is focused on Syria and Iraq in an escalating conflict that has resulted in about three million refugees from Syria and nearly two million internally displaced people within Iraq.

Less attention is focused on the many smaller conflicts. Within the Asia-Pacific region, continuing low-level conflicts – such as those between the Indigenous populations of West Papua and Indonesia, and sectarian violence in Bangladesh and Myanmar – attract little attention but continue to cause disruption and hardship, and often death.

Alongside the host of human tragedies, conflicts challenge efforts to ensure health, security and access to basic health care for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. Such populations are disproportionately represented in conflict-affected regions: chronic conflict causes chronic poverty and poverty causes conflict.

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