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Within the Health, Climate, and Security Nexus, Prevention is Better than a Cure

By Kelly Bridges

During the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, healthcare workers were contracting Ebola at an alarming rate. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that those fighting Ebola at the frontlines–in clinics and hospitals–were up to 32 times more likely to contract the disease than the rest of the population. Among the principal reasons why was the lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities, which rendered healthcare workers unable to wash their hands and disinfect surfaces. At the time, UNICEF reported that the demand for running water in Sierra Leonean healthcare facilities outstripped supply, as safely treating patients with Ebola requires 140 liters per day per patient. The most recent data from 2021 show that a staggering 80% of healthcare facilities in the West African country are without basic water services and less than 1% of its population has piped water at home. Globally, a quarter of all healthcare facilities are without basic water services and in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which includes Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo–the latest country to fight an Ebola outbreak–this number grows to half of all healthcare facilities. Without access to WASH services in healthcare settings and in communities at-large, global health security cannot be achieved. 

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BRIEFER: Climate Security: An Agenda for Future Research

By Dr. Duncan Depledge, Matt Ince, Olivia Lazard, and Erin Sikorsky

Climate change is altering the physical and strategic context in which national and international security is pursued. But it is not just increased climate variability and its socio-economic consequences that could compound instability and violent conflict in the future. The scale of transformation required to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis, as well as the speed and orderliness with which any such transition must occur, carries additional risk and demands more attention from scholars and policymakers. That was the
conclusion of a virtual roundtable organized by the UK Ministry of Defence’s Climate Change & Sustainability Directorate and Loughborough University in May 2022, led by the authors of this briefer. The following draws from the roundtable conversations.

Read the full briefer here.

Building Climate-Secure Communities: The USAID Climate Strategy and FY 2023 Budget Request

By Elsa Barron 

On Earth Day 2022, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released a new Climate Strategy for application between 2022 and 2030. The whole-of-agency approach created by this strategy is one that USAID calls “unprecedented” and necessary to realize a “vision of a resilient, prosperous, and equitable world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” 

USAID can apply its strengths–which it defines as its global presence, longevity of work, breadth of expertise, and convening power–to build climate resilience and prevent climate-induced insecurity. USAID’s investments in achieving its Climate Strategy are not a tradeoff with its existing development work. Rather, the strategy provides opportunities to deepen existing agency programs and equip its community partners to face some of the largest challenges to development, peace, and security in the decades ahead.  

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Lyston Lea Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

By Brigitte Hugh

The Center for Climate and Security is pleased and honored to announce that Lyston Lea has joined its distinguished Advisory Board of military and national security leaders. This group supports CCS leadership by providing substantive and strategic guidance. 

Mr. Lea recently retired from Defense Intelligence Senior Level Federal service in March 2022, after over 38 years of professional experience working in the Intelligence Community (IC). Before retiring he served as the Principal Advisor to the Director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO). During his career, Mr. Lea served in the Analytic Integrity and Standards Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Defense Intelligence Agency, as a Senior Briefer for the J2’s daily Intelligence Briefing to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Deputy Office Chief of the Defense Warning Office. Mr. Lea holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington & Jefferson College. 

Read Mr. Lea’s full bio here.

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