The effects of conflict on public health and ecosystem well-being are understudied and rarely figure in public debates about war-making. Protracted conflicts are particularly damaging to people and environments in ways that are inadequately documented. In recent wars in the Middle East and North Africa, parties to the conflicts have induced hunger and displacement and undermined public health through the use of violence and economic policies that deprive civilians of access to food, water, fuel, and livelihoods. Environmental pollution is widespread, particularly in cities that became war zones, while the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened conflict-induced poverty and food insecurity.

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