Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, Northern Gaza. Photo Credit: Wafa via Wikimedia Commons

Online Exclusive 11/14/2023 Blog

What We've Been Reading

From the Editors

Welcome to our roundup of news and current events related to ethics and international affairs! Here’s some of what we’ve been reading this past month:

Vox: The dire medical crisis in Gaza, explained

Gaza's healthcare system is in a state of crisis amid escalating military conflict, with hospitals like al-Shifa and the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital facing critical shortages of fuel and medical supplies, including gauze, IV bags, and anesthesia. The region's major hospitals are at risk of shutting down, primed to exacerbate the humanitarian situation precipitated by Israeli airstrikes in response to October 7th. The Gaza Health Ministry reports catastrophic human tolls, with over 10,000 deaths and 25,000 injuries. Medical facilities, also now serving as housing for displaced civilians, are operating well beyond capacity; for instance, al-Shifa Hospital is attempting to treat over 2,000 wounded with a bed capacity of 600. The WHO has documented 218 attacks affecting healthcare facilities and personnel, and alongside organizations like Doctors Without Borders, calls for a ceasefire and the provision of secure humanitarian aid. International efforts to support the beleaguered healthcare system continue amidst the violence.

Read more about humanitarian aid and healthcare in war, in Ethics & International Affairs:

Taking Measure of the UN’s Legacy at Seventy-Five: (2020: 34-3)

COVID-19 as a Mass Death Event: (2021: 35-1)

Helping Refugees Where They Are (2021: 35-4)

Memorial gathering at Habima Square, Tel Aviv on November 7th. Photo Credit: Eric Shur via Wikimedia Commons

Foreign Policy: Israel's Wartime Economy Can't Hold up Forever

Israel's economy confronts severe distress amid an enduring conflict with Hamas. Agricultural sectors have been particularly impacted as military operations repurpose farmlands, leading to a reliance on imports to sustain produce supply. Also, the Israeli shekel has depreciated significantly due to the disruption of essential sectors like tourism and technology, compounded by the grounding of international flights. Despite a substantial $200 billion financial cushion from reserves and U.S. aid, the activation of 360,000 reservists has left a gaping hole in the civilian job market, with GDP projections plummeting by up to 15 percent. The government faces pressure to reallocate funds to defense, amidst contentious debates on employing Palestinian labor to fill the agricultural shortfall — a proposal met with resistance over security concerns. Despite the central bank's stance on maintaining interest rates, the protracted conflict raises concerns about the long-term fiscal implications.

Read more about refugee economics and conflict in Ethics & International Affairs

The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Build Economies (2023: 37-2)

A Human Rights Approach to Conflict Resolution: (2022: 36-2)

Finding Refuge through Employment: Worker Visas as a Complementary Pathway for Refugee Resettlement (2020: 34-4)

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken meets with Haitian Prime Minster Ariel Henry in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State via Wikimedia Commons

CNN: UN Security Council approves sending foreign forces to Haiti

The UN Security Council has sanctioned an armed multinational force for a 12-month mission in Haiti amidst severe security instability and political deadlock. The council's resolution mandates a Kenya-led contingent, complemented by personnel from neighboring Caribbean nations, charged with supporting the Haitian National Police, who are currently outnumbered by gangs controlling the capital and managing the displacement of 200,000 residents. The resolution also enforces a strict arms embargo, except for security operations. Despite historical criticisms of UN peacekeeping in Haiti due to allegations of misconduct and the introduction of cholera, this move is backed by the U.S. with promises of robust support. Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has been advocating for international military aid, views this as a critical step toward achieving the security necessary for conducting overdue elections. This intervention comes as Haiti is confronted with over 4.9 million citizens facing acute food shortages amid a soaring 50 percent inflation rate.

Read more about secession and international interventionism in Ethics & International Affairs:

Secessionist Conflict: A Happy Marriage between Norms and Interests? (2019: 33-1)

Introduction: Democratizing Global Justice (2022: 36-3)

Introduction: Alternatives to War (2018: 32-3)

Dandora landfill, the largest in East Africa. Photo Credit: Falkue via Wikimedia Commons

The Guardian: Plastic waste ‘spiraling out of control’ across Africa, analysis shows

Plastic waste is increasing exponentially across Africa, with projections signaling a rise to 116 million tonnes annually by 2060, a sixfold increase from 2019 levels. This rapid surge in sub-Saharan Africa is fueled by escalating consumption due to population growth and rising income, particularly among the region's predominantly young populace. Ahead of critical UN treaty negotiations in Nairobi, experts stress the urgency of addressing the plastic crisis and prioritizing the welfare of waste pickers, responsible for 60 percent of global recycled plastic. The situation underscores a broader environmental and health crisis, with developing nations and informal waste collectors disproportionately suffering the consequences. With waste management facilities like the Dandora landfill posing severe health risks, the forthcoming UN conference is critical for hoping to avert this escalating environmental challenge

Read more about sustainable development and climate inequality in Ethics & International Affairs:

Introduction: Representing Vulnerable Communities and Future Generations in the Face of Climate Change (2022: 36-2)

The Need for Governance of Climate Geoengineering (2017: 31-4)

Lost in Transformation? The Politics of the Sustainable Development Goals (2016: 30-2)