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December 23, 1992

Health, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Assistance During War and ConflictsCall for Papers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of JAMA Programs and International Activities, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill (Ms Flanagin), and the Carter Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Foege).

JAMA. 1992;268(24):3480. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490240088045

Is war inevitable? Despite the end of the cold war and the current wave of democratization, 120 armed conflicts exist in the world today. Thirty of these conflicts are considered major, involving more than 1000 battle-related deaths.1

Many people are unaware of the major armed conflicts in India, Myanmar, Chad, and Sri Lanka, as we can barely keep up with the even larger conflicts in Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Liberia, and Mozambique. And many are unaware that the majority of victims are civilians, including children.2,3 Political and military leaders in Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, and Liberia, unlike their counterparts in Lebanon and El Salvador, are not responding to the silent pleas of innocent children who suffer untold violence and die in unknown numbers. Why is such suffering allowed to continue?4 Haven't we learned from history?

The histories of Sumeria, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, and Greece are chronicles of