Many experts believe that social stressors such as climate change, pandemic threats, global terrorism, and military conflict are some of our planet's most significant future challenges. These stressors have historically driven and are presently serving to propagate humanitarian crises in different places worldwide. In the field of emergency and disaster management, environmental stressors such as natural hazards exacerbate differential vulnerability that exists primarily due to socioeconomic factors. Still, unfortunately, military conflict has proven yet again to be the most efficient stressor in driving segments of our society into desperate humanitarian circumstances.
Even though we have made progress in our capacity to address the humanitarian crisis in part through global governmental organizations such as the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations like the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies still, the best way to diminish crisis is to minimize or eliminate the stressor, for instance, the current Russian and Ukrainian conflict. In the United States, far too much attention has been given to methods to support Ukraine with military aid (which I am not advocating against) but far too little or little effort into the opportunities for a peaceful end to hostilities. The media in the US focuses on the delivery of tanks instead of why more efforts for political negotiations to end the conflict are not more pressing.
Some global community members are trying to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian and Ukrainian conflict with more diplomatic efforts. For example, The United Arab Emirates is working to secure the release of 63 Russian prisoners through the direct actions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. The overall impacts of such efforts are yet to be revealed, but we should acknowledge and support these and other exertions by our global colleagues. More energy should be given to peaceful solutions and any efforts to ease hostilities not just here but for future military conflicts. To put it all quite simply, in the words of the great poet John Lennon, “all we are saying is give peace a chance.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Tim Frazier is a Professor of Emergency and Disaster Management at Georgetown University and holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Geography from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Geography from the Pennsylvania State University.