Joint Statement Supporting Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate

Heritage Stewardship – Forests, Land Use, Rights

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Joint Statement Supporting Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate
Funders Stand Together in Support of Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate
Climate and Land Use Alliance – This statement was released on the 11th of September 2018 on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California.

“As leaders of philanthropic organizations, we are participating in the Global Climate Action Summit by stepping up our support to protect, restore, and expand forests, make land use more sustainable, and secure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, who are the best stewards of their lands, territories, and forests.

Forests and lands are critical to the fight against climate change. They already remove 30% of the carbon emissions added to the atmosphere each year, and could provide an additional 30% of the mitigation needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. But forests and lands receive only 3% of the funding for climate action. If we hope to achieve global climate goals, investments in conserving forests and lands must urgently increase to match their potential for slowing climate change.

Together, we support:
:: Land use policies and finance that help achieve ambitious climate targets and contribute to sustainable development.
:: Policies that protect and recognize the role of forests and sustainable land use in supporting rural livelihoods and alleviating poverty.
:: Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ land rights and management of forests, and an end to the violence against and criminalization of environmental defenders.
:: Expanded, protected, and restored national parks, conservation areas, and forests that respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their right to free, prior, and informed consent; and
:: Agricultural production and investments that support a transition to sustainable food systems, do not cause deforestation or rural violence, preserve biodiversity, and improve soil health.

Through our funding commitments to these shared priorities, we hope to inspire new and deeper investments – from other foundations, from governments, and from businesses – to finance a shift toward sustainable and rights-based land use and forest management and away from short-term resource depletion that leaves communities, economies, and the planet impoverished.

Forests are fundamental to life on Earth. Billions of people depend on forests for food, water, fuel, shelter, and medicine. Forests support biodiversity, including a rich array of plant and animal life, and provide clean water and clean air. Diverse indigenous and local cultures have traditions, beliefs, and livelihoods that are inextricably tied to forests. Their guardianship of forests and lands is vital. Healthy forests make the world more resilient to the impacts of climate change and are essential to securing a more stable, livable climate for us all.

We stand together in our resolve to conserve the world’s forests and lands for the benefit of all people and the planet.”

Signatories:
American Jewish World Service
Arapyaú Foundation
Christensen Fund
ClimateWorks Foundation
David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Ford Foundation
Good Energies Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Mulago Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
Swift Foundation
Tamalpais Trust
Tata Trusts
Thousand Currents
United Nations Foundation

Report: More than 65 Ways Blockchain Technology Can Fix Global Environmental Challenges – WEF

Development/Heritage Stewardship/Humanitarian Response – Blockchain

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Report: More than 65 Ways Blockchain Technology Can Fix Global Environmental Challenges
14 Sep2018
· Blockchain applications could disrupt how the world manages environmental resources, helping to drive sustainable growth and value creation
· This opportunity remains largely untapped by developers, investors and governments as the majority of projects are currently focused on areas like fintech and supply chains
· New global platforms are urgently needed to incubate a responsible blockchain ecosystem rather than specific projects

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Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet
World Economic Forum – In collaboration with PwC and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
September 2018 :: 37 pages
PDF: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Building-Blockchains.pdf

Principal findings
Our research and analysis identified more than 65 existing and emerging blockchain use-cases for the environment through desk-based research and interviews with a range of stakeholders at the forefront of applying blockchain across industry, big tech, entrepreneurs, research and government.

Blockchain use-case solutions that are particularly relevant across environmental applications tend to cluster around the following cross-cutting themes: enabling the transition to cleaner and more efficient decentralized systems; peer-to-peer trading of resources or permits; supply-chain transparency and management; new financing models for environmental outcomes; and the realization of non-financial value and natural capital.

The report also identifies enormous potential to create blockchain-enabled “game changers” that have the ability to deliver transformative solutions to environmental challenges. These game changers have the potential to disrupt, or substantially optimize, the systems that are critical to addressing many environmental challenges.

A high-level summary of those game changers is outlined below:
“See-through” supply chains: blockchain can create undeniable (and potentially unavoidable) transparency in supply chains. Recording transactional data throughout the supply chain on a blockchain and establishing an immutable record of provenance (i.e. origin) offers the potential for full
traceability of products from source to store. Providing such transparency creates an opportunity to optimize supply-and-demand management, build resilience and ultimately enable more sustainable production, logistics and consumer choice.

Decentralized and sustainable resource management: blockchain can underpin a transition to decentralized utility systems at scale. Platforms could collate distributed data on resources (e.g. household-level water and energy data from smart sensors) to end the current asymmetry of information that exists between stakeholders, enabling more informed – and even decentralized – decision-making regarding system design and management of resources. This could include
peer-to-peer transactions, dynamic pricing and optimal demand-supply balancing.

Raising the trillions – new sources of sustainable finance: blockchain-enabled finance platforms could potentially revolutionize access to capital and unlock potential for new investors in projects that address environmental challenges – from retail-level investment in 6 Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet green infrastructure projects through to enabling blended finance or charitable donations for developing countries. On a broader level, there is the potential for blockchain to facilitate a system shift from shareholder to stakeholder value, and to expand traditional financial capital accounting to also capture social and environmental capital. Collectively, these changes could help raise the trillions of dollars needed to finance a shift to low-carbon and environmentally sustainable economies.

Incentivizing circular economies: blockchain could fundamentally change the way in which materials and natural resources are valued and traded, incentivizing individuals, companies and governments to unlock financial value from things that are currently wasted, discarded or treated as economically invaluable. This could drive widespread behaviour change and help to realize a truly
circular economy.

Transforming carbon (and other environmental) markets: blockchain platforms could be harnessed to use cryptographic tokens with a tradable value to optimize existing market platforms for carbon (or other substances) and create new opportunities for carbon credit transactions.

Next-gen sustainability monitoring, reporting and verification: blockchain has the potential to transform both sustainability reporting and assurance, helping companies manage, demonstrate and improve their performance, while enabling consumers and investors to make better-informed decisions. This could drive a new wave of accountability and action, as this information filters up to board-level managers and provides them with a more complete picture for managing risk and reward profiles.

Automatic disaster preparedness and humanitarian relief: blockchain could underpin a new shared system for multiple parties involved in disaster preparedness and relief to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and trust of resources. An interoperable decentralized system could enable the sharing of information (e.g. individual relief activities transparent to all other parties within the distributed network) and rapid automated transactions via smart contracts. This could improve efficiencies in the immediate aftermath of disasters, which is the most critical time for limiting loss of life and other human impacts.
[See more detail from p.20 below]

Earth-management platforms: new blockchain-enabled geospatial platforms, which enable a range of value-based transactions, are in the early stages of exploration and could monitor, manage and enable market mechanisms that protect the global environmental commons – from life on land to ocean health. Such applications are further away in terms of technical and logistical feasibility, but they remain exciting to contemplate.

These game changers, and the more than 65 use-cases identified, offer the exciting potential to build a sustainable future; however, as with many emerging technologies, there are a number of risks to manage and challenges to overcome. In broad terms, the challenges relate to blockchain’s maturity as a technology, regulatory and legal challenges, stakeholders’ trust in the technology, and their willingness to invest and participate in applications…

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[p.20]
7. Automatic disaster preparedness and humanitarian relief
As the frequency and scale of natural catastrophes increases, in part due to a changing climate, there is an increasing need both to prepare for when foreseeable natural disasters strike and to manage better real-time relief responses, e.g. coordinating and financing rapid support and supplies to people and areas where the need is greatest. Blockchain solutions could be transformational in terms of their ability to improve disaster preparedness and relief effectiveness.

Blockchain solutions are starting to be developed to realize Fourth Industrial Revolution-enabled disaster preparedness. IBM, for example, is spearheading a new initiative called “Call for Code”, working with the American Red Cross, to invite developers to create new applications to help people and communities better prepare for natural disasters.69 Concept-stage blockchain solutions are being proposed to mobilize public and private organizations to coordinate real-time disaster relief, matching community needs with least-cost suppliers. For example, connecting suppliers of clean drinking water with the helicopter pilots delivering that water could help ensure that deliveries are scheduled at specific locations within certain time frames.70 To enable this solution, smart-contract technology can determine which contract offer is the best one available based on the delivery needs of the community, including quantity, price, timing and location. The smart contract can trigger acceptance of the offer, and set in motion the delivery as well as confirming the delivery has taken place. SAP is involved in working on, and promoting, these types of “pooling and sharing” solutions, which could fundamentally shift how public and private organizations can be mobilized in the event of a natural disaster.71

An important challenge here will be to integrate disaster preparedness and relief platforms into existing early warning and mobilization systems, across both public and private entities. Ensuring adequate trust and resolving intellectual property (IP) and data privacy issues will be particularly important. Further challenges might arise in developing countries where IT systems might not yet be Fourth Industrial Revolution-compatible without significant investment and upgrades.

69. IBM, IBM Leads “Call for Code” to Use Cloud, Data, AI, Blockchain, for Natural Disaster Relief, 24 May 2018: http://newsroom. ibm.com/2018-05-24-IBM-Leads-Call-for-Code-to-Use-
Cloud-Data-AI-Blockchain-for-Natural-Disaster-Relief (link as of 03/09/18).
70. Galer, S., Blockchain to the Rescue: We Can Be Much Better at Weathering Natural Disasters, D!gitalist, 7 November 2017: https://digitalistmag.com/improving-lives/2017/11/07/blockchainto-
rescue-much-better-at-weathering-natural-disasters-05486919
(link as of 03/09/18).
71. Ibid.

Aid agencies call on world powers to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib

Syria – Idlib

Briefing Security Council, Special Envoy for Syria Warns of ‘Perfect Storm’ with Severe Humanitarian Consequences Taking Shape in Idlib
7 September 2018
SC/13491
The Syrian Government and its partners — currently poised at the brink of a massive military strike against the north west province of Idlib — must urgently rethink its strategy, the Security Council heard today, as delegates sounded the alarm about such repercussions as mass civilian casualties and the flood of up to 700,000 refugees into neighbouring countries, Europe and beyond.

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Aid agencies call on world powers to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib
Friday 7 September 2018
Millions of civilians trapped in Idlib face the prospect of the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Syria’s seven-year war, should there be a major military escalation in the country’s North West. Eight leading aid agencies are calling on world leaders meeting Friday to urgently work together to avoid this horrific scenario.

The presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey will meet in Tehran to discuss the situation in Syria, and later in the day a similar discussion will take place, in New York at the United Nations Security Council. In both meetings, participants, some of whom are actively involved in the conflict, must ensure they work together to uphold international humanitarian law and human rights, protect civilians, including aid workers, and civilian infrastructure, and allow unimpeded access to humanitarian agencies.

Aid agencies working in the governorate are already overwhelmed trying to provide shelter, food, water, schooling and healthcare across communities that have already doubled in size, having welcomed almost 1.5 million people displaced by the conflict. Many of those families arrived in Idlib having left areas previously retaken by Government forces, and with little more than the clothes on their back.

Once again, it will be the most vulnerable who will pay the heaviest price, with women, children, and the elderly in Idlib unlikely to be able to move to safety. Healthcare facilities, schools, water sources and other vital infrastructure in Idlib have already sustained heavy damage in this conflict, and pushed aid workers to work in difficult circumstances. Additional airstrikes and bombings will push already stretched resources to the brink.

In the event that aid organisations are forced to freeze their operations as a result of an offensive, vulnerable civilians will be left without vital humanitarian support. Meanwhile organisations operating from government-controlled areas currently lack access to Idlib and funding to meet the full range of humanitarian needs.

It is vital that world leaders take this opportunity to work together on a diplomatic solution that can protect civilians from a major increase in violence.

SIGNED BY
CARE International
Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
Humanity & Inclusion
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Mercy Corps
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Save the Children
World Vision

High-Level Conference in Berlin commits to comprehensive crisis response in the Lake Chad Region as donors announce US$2.17 billion in support; US$467 million in concessional loans

Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus – Lake Chad Region

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High-Level Conference in Berlin commits to comprehensive crisis response in the Lake Chad Region as donors announce US$2.17 billion in support; US$467 million in concessional loans
Report from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 04 Sep 2018
:: Conference highlights the regional dimension of the Lake Chad crisis, the crucial role of local actors, cross-border cooperation and ownership at all levels
:: Donors announce US$2.17 billion to support humanitarian, peacebuilding and development activities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria; multilateral financial institutions announce US$467 million in concessional loans
:: Stakeholders commit to address the immediate and longer-term needs and help build the resilience of millions of crisis-affected people in the Lake Chad region

Berlin, 4 September 2018 – The High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region concluded today with renewed commitments by participants to work together to address the multi-faceted crisis affecting the region. More than 70 countries, international organizations and civil society actors gathered in Berlin on 3-4 September to discuss solutions to bring peace and stability to the affected countries. The participants discussed humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention and stabilization, as well as development, to chart a way forward for a comprehensive and inclusive response. The conference provided an excellent opportunity for in-depth discussions on various aspects that had been raised during the 2017 Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.

More than 17 million people across north-eastern Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are facing a complex crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict. As a result, more than 2.4 million people are displaced and over 10 million people need assistance to meet their basic protection and humanitarian needs. Participants agreed that a coherent, multi-year approach is needed that integrates all available instruments to tackle the protection crisis and the root causes of the conflict. This is needed to pave the way for sustainable and resilient development of the region, and thus contribute to a better future for the affected people….

 

Statement on the Lake Chad Region – Berlin Humanitarian Conference
by Dr Rick Brennan, WHO Director of Emergency Operations
Berlin, Germany
3 September 2018

Distinguished delegates,
As others have observed today, the narrative and dialogue around the Lake Chad Basin crisis has matured significantly since we met in Oslo last year.

We need to make the humanitarian-development peace nexus concrete. There is a general recognition that robust and principled humanitarian action is necessary – but not sufficient – to meet the needs of the people in the region. There is also an acknowledgment that root causes must be met, resilience of communities and institutions built, and the humanitarian-development-peace nexus operationalized.

Our challenge remains to shift from agreeing on these concepts and principles, to ensuring their concrete implementation – and to identify the solutions that Mark Lowcock constantly urges us to develop.

There are unique opportunities for effective implementation of the New Way or Working within the Lake Chad Basin sub-region, especially within the health sector. In fact, there is probably no better opportunity in the world today than the Lake Chad Basin region to demonstrate that it is possible to effectively implement the New Way of Working. And it is the view of WHO and our health sector partners, that health presents unique opportunities in this regard.

Humanitarian health response has been effective to date and must be sustained. Humanitarian health action has already documented some remarkable achievements over the past two years in Northeast Nigeria. Through progressively expanding access to essential health services – and working in collaboration with other life-saving sectors – we have documented a sharp drop in mortality in Northeast Nigeria. Mortality rates, which were dramatically elevated above emergency thresholds early in the response, are now within normal limits, at least among those populations to whom we have access. Last year, a collaborative malaria control effort with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and other partners averted at least 6500 childhood deaths due to malaria. We have also jointly responded effectively to major outbreaks of measles, cholera, meningitis and polio. You may recall that polio established its foothold back in Africa due to the crisis in Northeast Nigeria.

Resilience in the health sector must be built at individual and systems levels. While we all aim to maintain a strong humanitarian response for the short-to medium- term, we see several important opportunities to build the resilience of both individuals and the health system. Firstly, there are few factors that make individuals more resilient physically and mentally than good health and strong nutritional status. Continued strengthening of the coverage and quality of essential health services will help to ensure that individuals are both resistant to disease and recover more rapidly when they do become ill.

Similarly, we need to make the health system itself resilient. Perhaps the best example of this is through building its capacities to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Lake Chad region is remarkably prone to outbreaks of disease that have crossed borders, such as meningitis, cholera and hepatitis E. Building capacities for disease surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, and rapid response is vital to the resilience of any health system – and this is nowhere more evident than in the Lake Chad region.

Good governance is essential for sustainable health system development. We also need to be concrete about how we lay the foundations of longer-term health system recovery and development. This can be a complex process, as we have learned in other contexts. But I would like to highlight a sine qua non for sustainable development within the health sector – and that is good governance and leadership. All of the support from international partners will come to naught in the longer term unless authorities at all levels take strong ownership of the health system, ensure transparent management processes and provide an inclusive voice for communities. Involvement of civil society and the private sector has been demonstrated to contribute to health system recovery in several examples and we need to accelerate this process in the context of Lake Chad.

The health sector can contribute to peacebuilding. Finally, the health sector can play its own modest role in advancing peace and reconciliation. Public health campaigns can be opportunities for humanitarian pauses and can be a leading wedge for opening up humanitarian access. Polio vaccinations have helped to open access for other health services in Northeast Nigeria, for example. Re-establishing health services can be a confidence and trust-building process. This is especially true when they are extended to populations who have historically been neglected by central authorities and when they are designed to address longer-term inequities.

In summary, ladies and gentlemen, we must collectively move from agreeing on what needs to be done, to taking concrete steps to implement the humanitarian-development-peace nexus across all sectors. Conceptual frameworks and good intentions and are not enough – we must implement, and we must do so with the full engagement of communities and national partners.

UN Human Rights Chief applauds Indian Supreme Court decision to decriminalize same-sex relationships

Human Rights – India

UN Human Rights Chief applauds Indian Supreme Court decision to decriminalize same-sex relationships
GENEVA (7 September 2018) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday applauded the decision by the Indian Supreme Court to decriminalize consensual same sex relations.

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights,” Bachelet said. “With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality. I hope that other courts elsewhere in the world will look to India’s example and be encouraged to move in the same direction.”

Laws that criminalize consensual same-sex relations violate fundamental rights including the rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination.

“Throughout the world such laws have led to a litany of abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people including arbitrary arrests, violence, bullying in schools, denial of access to health and harassment at work,” the High Commissioner said. “Such discriminatory laws have no place in the 21st century, and I’m delighted the Indian Supreme Court has recognised that. Yesterday’s decision, which was unanimous and may not be appealed, effectively settles the matter in India once and for all.”

The most immediate effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling is that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code – a colonial era law – will no longer criminalize consensual same sex relations in private. But its real impact is likely to be much wider: by decriminalizing same sex relationships, the court has sent a powerful signal that LGBT people are equal and valued members of the Indian community.

“While the decision on section 377 will not achieve equality overnight,” Bachelet said, “it does pave the way for greater inclusion and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in India, and over time may help dispel the stigma associated with being LGBT.” She urged the authorities to move swiftly to build on the court’s decision by introducing new measures to protect the rights of LGBT people – including effective anti-discrimination measures.

The High Commissioner also paid tribute to the LGBT community in India, “particularly to the many LGBT activists and their allies in the human rights movement who worked so hard and waited so long for this moment.”…

Infants distinguish between leaders and bullies – PNAS

Featured Journal Content

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/
[Accessed 8 Sep 2018]

Infants distinguish between leaders and bullies
Francesco Margoni, Renée Baillargeon, and Luca Surian
PNAS published ahead of print September 4, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1801677115
Significance
Prior research indicates that infants can represent power asymmetries and expect them to both endure over time and extend across situations. Building on these efforts, we examined whether 21-month-old infants could distinguish between two different bases of social power. Infants first saw three protagonists interact with a powerful character who was either a leader (with respect-based power) or a bully (with fear-based power). Next, the character gave an order to the protagonists. Infants expected the protagonists to continue to obey the leader’s order after she left the scene, but they expected the protagonists to obey the bully’s order only when she remained present. Thus, by 21 months of age, infants can already distinguish between respect-based and fear-based power relations.
Abstract
We examined whether 21-month-old infants could distinguish between two broad types of social power: respect-based power exerted by a leader (who might be an authority figure with legitimate power, a prestigious individual with merited power, or some combination thereof) and fear-based power exerted by a bully. Infants first saw three protagonists interact with a character who was either a leader (leader condition) or a bully (bully condition). Next, the character gave an order to the protagonists, who initially obeyed; the character then left the scene, and the protagonists either continued to obey (obey event) or no longer did so (disobey event). Infants in the leader condition looked significantly longer at the disobey than at the obey event, suggesting that they expected the protagonists to continue to obey the leader in her absence. In contrast, infants in the bully condition looked equally at the two events, suggesting that they viewed both outcomes as plausible: The protagonists might continue to obey the absent bully to prevent further harm, or they might disobey her because her power over them weakened in her absence. Additional results supported these interpretations: Infants expected obedience when the bully remained in the scene and could harm the protagonists if defied, but they expected disobedience when the order was given by a character with little or no power over the protagonists. Together, these results indicate that by 21 months of age, infants already hold different expectations for subordinates’ responses to individuals with respect-based as opposed to fear-based power.

Armed conflict and child mortality in Africa: a geospatial analysis – The Lancet

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Sep 01, 2018 Volume 392 Number 10149 p711-794
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current
Comment
Childhood mortality during conflicts in Africa
Emelda A Okiro, Philip Ayieko
Published: August 30, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31373-4
The International humanitarian law differentiates two types of armed conflicts: international (between states) and non-international (domestic). 1 Since 1989, 75% of non-state armed conflicts have been in Africa. 2 Children and women bear most of the burden of these events. Childhood deaths due to conflicts present a real threat to the achievement of the global target of ending preventable deaths of children by 2030. 3 Despite the link between armed conflicts and direct deaths (combat-related) and indirect deaths (excess mortality because of worsening health disparities and disruption of basic health services), most assessments of childhood deaths done to date have not explicitly incorporated the effect of conflicts on child survival. 4 The need to address this gap takes on a greater urgency in the African region, where there has been a flare-up in both intensity and magnitude of armed conflicts. 5,, 6

Articles
Armed conflict and child mortality in Africa: a geospatial analysis
Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Zulfiqar A Bhutta, Robert E Black, Marshall Burke, Eran Bendavid
Summary
Background
A substantial portion of child deaths in Africa take place in countries with recent history of armed conflict and political instability. However, the extent to which armed conflict is an important cause of child mortality, especially in Africa, remains unknown.
Methods
We matched child survival with proximity to armed conflict using information in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Events Dataset on the location and intensity of armed conflict from 1995 to 2015 together with the location, timing, and survival of infants younger than 1 year (primary outcome) in 35 African countries. We measured the increase in mortality risk for infants exposed to armed conflicts within 50 km in the year of birth and, to study conflicts’ extended health risks, up to 250 km away and 10 years before birth. We also examined the effects of conflicts of varying intensity and chronicity (conflicts lasting several years), and effect heterogeneity by residence and sex of the child. We then estimated the number and portion of deaths of infants younger than 1 year related to conflict.
Findings
We identified 15,441 armed conflict events that led to 968,444 combat-related deaths and matched these data with 1·99 million births and 133,361 infant deaths (infant mortality of 67 deaths per 1000 births) between 1995 and 2015. A child born within 50 km of an armed conflict had a risk of dying before reaching age 1 year of 5·2 per 1000 births higher than being born in the same region during periods without conflict (95% CI 3·7–6·7; a 7·7% increase above baseline). This increased risk of dying ranged from a 3·0% increase for armed conflicts with one to four deaths to a 26·7% increase for armed conflicts with more than 1000 deaths. We find evidence of increased mortality risk from an armed conflict up to 100 km away, and for 8 years after conflicts, with cumulative increase in infant mortality two to four times higher than the contemporaneous increase. In the entire continent, the number of infant deaths related to conflict from 1995 to 2015 was between 3·2 and 3·6 times the number of direct deaths from armed conflicts.
Interpretation
Armed conflict substantially and persistently increases infant mortality in Africa, with effect sizes on a scale with malnutrition and several times greater than existing estimates of the mortality burden of conflict. The toll of conflict on children, who are presumably not combatants, underscores the indirect toll of conflict on civilian populations, and the importance of developing interventions to address child health in areas of conflict.
Funding
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children.