Let’s stop the wars and talk peace


Anna Mae Lamentillo.jpg

A few years back, the only war we hadwas against a virus. We were all bent on fighting off the disease that brought the world to a pause and changed the way we live. We all wanted to preserve as many lives then. 


Today, while the scars of the pandemic have yet to fade, new wounds are being inflicted in several territories in the world.Violent conflicts, often disguised as a quest for justice, have emerged with strong defiance from warring parties to halt, always justifying their actions as mere defense against the other.


Violence has no place in our world. History has taught us that wars only inflictfear, trauma, and further hatred. The worse of it all, those who are innocent and vulnerable—women, children, the elderly—are always the collateral damage, they are the ones who experience terror, hunger, abuse, and other forms of violence.


Gaza is already on the brink of famine. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projected that famine can occur anytime between mid-March and May 2024in the North Gaza and Gaza Governorates with the continuing hostilities and the lack of immediate access to essential supplies and services.


The IPC defines famine as“the absolute inaccessibility of food to an entire population or sub-group of a population, potentially causing death in the short term.”


When the IPC report was released in December last year, more than one in four households were already facing extreme hunger.If this war does not stop, half of the population of the Gaza Strip, or 1.11 million people, is expected to face catastrophic conditions between mid-March and mid-July.


It is hard to imagine how these communities are struggling every single day—children crying of hunger while mothers trying to hush them hoping for aid to come. But to put it bluntly, they are only waiting which one will be the first to come—help or death. 


This has to stop. But now the building tension between Iran and Israel only heightens our fears and worries.


United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has renewed his call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. 


He likewise condemned the attacks of both Iran and Israel on each other, and stressed that it is vital to avoid any action that could lead to a full-scale Middle East conflict because “neither the region nor the world can afford more war.”


The UN chief also called for an end on the Ukraine war, which has already entered its third year, stressing the need to respect the UN Charter and international law.


We can create a lot of reasons to start and prolong a war; but we have more reasons to stop the violence and start talking peace. Let us not forget our collective responsibility to protect and preserve lives—this should be our primordial concern. These wars need to stop now. -30-