The reality of the disordered world demands U.S. leadership and action to ensure health security.

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Quick Overview

In today’s world, chronic wars and unstable and fragile states have proliferated, giving rise to the displacement of over 68 million people. This reordering of populations is not likely to be reversed in the near future and is already resulting in major, permanent, often insecure settlements. The traditional sources of global, domestic, and local order are increasingly frayed. Global disorder spans chronic and emerging conflicts, fragile states, gross malgovernance, and empty stateless spaces. It is here to stay, is evolving swiftly, and is generating destabilizing new health security threats.

Access to basic health services degrades significantly as security is reduced and populations are displaced. A persistent state of crisis, violence, and instability leads to the flight of indigenous healthcare providers and at times the collapse of health infrastructure, accelerated by the deliberate targeting of healthcare providers and other humanitarians. As access to health services and infrastructure declines, basic health measures such as immunizations, maternal healthcare, and family planning services decline or cease altogether, and the risk of dangerous outbreaks rises. We have only just begun to understand the true destabilizing consequences of the impairment and destruction of health systems: in driving upwards mortality and illness, now and into the future; in driving mass migration; and in generating enormous reconstruction costs. It is critical that there be much stronger and more sustained investment in and protection of health infrastructure in fragile settings and in countries receiving refugees. This reality of the disordered world demands U.S. leadership and action to ensure health security.

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