The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States (Social Affairs Sector, Department of Health and Humanitarian Affairs), in cooperation and coordination with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are organizing a launch event for the Arab strategy on Access to Public Health Services in the context of asylum and displacement in the Arab region and its annexed action plan on 21 June.
The launch event will be followed by the first Arab workshop to follow up on the implementation of the strategy, in the presence of each of the relevant experts from the ministries of health in the Arab countries that are members of the League of Arab States and specialized UN agencies, on 21-22 June, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in Cairo.
“The strategy has been prepared in cooperation with UNHCR, and reviewed by the concerned experts of the ministries of health in the Arab member states, before being approved by the Council of Health Ministers pursuant to Resolution No. (4) of the Ordinary Session (52) May 2019 in Geneva, and the Council also approved its annexed plan of action pursuant to Resolution No. (6) of the Ordinary Session (54) March 2021,” said Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector.
Her Excellency also stated that the strategy and its action plan aim at enhancing the efforts of countries hosting refugees and asylum-seekers in meeting their health needs, adding that the strategy is based on six main pillars to create an environment that enables refugees and asylum-seekers in the Arab region to receive public health services and health care. The Ambassador also noted that despite the challenges facing member states, health care has developed in the Arab countries in general, as public health indicators have improved in some countries, especially those that suffer from unstable conditions that have led to unprecedented flows of asylum and displacement which has greatly affected reform processes across all the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to health.
“Refugee movements have pressured health care systems in host countries, which responded in different ways based on the specific circumstances of each country. In many cases, this has to the increase of challenges in the healthcare systems affecting refugee and internally displaced communities, especially the most vulnerable groups,” said Mr. Pablo Mateu, UNHCR Representative to the Government of Egypt and to the League of Arab States.
Mr. Mateu also indicated that UNHCR places advocating the rights of refugees, displaced persons and asylum-seekers as one of its top priorities in order to continue efforts to improve the situation of the refugee population within the framework of human rights approaches that take into account their interests in all respects, and are based on the interdependence, complementarity and indivisibility of rights, in order to activate the Arab commitment to Arab and international charters and treaties related to the protection of refugees, in particular in situations of armed conflict, conditions of instability and emergency.
The workshop will discuss various public health and assistance issues related to UNHCR’s persons of concern in the Arab region. Particular focus and attention will be given to the most vulnerable groups of women and children, while reaffirming the commitment of states to provide high-quality and equitable health services, and to enhance their well-being in general.
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Arab Strategy on Access to Public Health Services in Asylum and Displacement Contexts to Be Launched – World – ReliefWeb