Video On Demand

The Red Zone: The Crossfire Between Conflict and Climate Change

May 15, 2024 • 11:00 am – 12:15 pm EDT

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Recurring heatwaves, water scarcity, shrinking crop yields, flash floods, and conflict are the primary climate-specific drivers for human insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations estimates that 70 million people in the regions need humanitarian assistance, demanding urgent attention on the need for climate adaptation in the midst of conflict. Climate shocks, compounded with protracted humanitarian crisis and conflict, continue to compromise vulnerable communities’ access to lifesaving assistance, vital health services, and critical agriculture and water infrastructure. Designated terrorist organizations and non-state armed groups also use climate disasters as a tool to recruit fighters from and increase access constraints of communities with a disproportionate risk to climate change–resulting in higher rates of resource competition. In this environment, how can conflict-sensitive adaptation be prioritized and funded to meet increasing needs and combat human insecurity?

Climate shocks and conflict continue to deplete crop yields in Iraq, drive displacement in Syria, cause water stress in Libya, increase food insecurity in Yemen, and constrain resources in Gaza and the West Bank. In regions that are undergoing rapid environmental degradation and experiencing protracted humanitarian crisis, addressing the intersection of conflict, climate change, and adaptation is growing more imperative than ever before. This panel brings together experts on the regions, the nexus of climate and conflict, and adaptation to discuss how to effectively coordinate a sufficient response to compounded crises across the Middle East and North Africa.

To register to attend the Red Zone Conference, please visit: The Red Zone: Charting Paths to Resilience in the Climate-Conflict Nexus.

This event is made possible through the generous support of USAID.

Noam Unger
Director, Sustainable Development and Resilience Initiative and Senior Fellow, Project on Prosperity and Development

Ciaran Donnelly

Senior Vice President, Crisis Response, Recovery, and Development, International Rescue Committee

Avril Benoit

Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières

Dr. Mohammed Mahmoud

Senior Fellow and Director of the Climate and Water Program, Middle East Institute