World Health Assembly Side Event: Health and Well-Being in Emergencies


On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition will cosponsor a side event, Health and Wellbeing in Emergencies, at the World Health Assembly. The event will be held from 18:00 –19:30 in Room VII, Palais des Nations.

The World Health Organization has a specific mandate enshrined in its constitution to strive for the highest attainable level of health for all even in difficult circumstances. This side event will focus on three related and crucial aspects:

  • Safety and health of health workers
  • Reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health
  • Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian emergencies.

All three topics have health, social, and economic consequences, and the cost of inaction can have a considerable impact on reconstruction and development.

Other sponsors include 11 member states (New Zealand, Netherlands, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Norway, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates, and the United States), the International Labor Organization, the UN Populations Fund, The UN Refugee Agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the World Health Organization.

The event will include a testimony from an IFRC health worker, a high-level panel discussion, and general discussion.

Dr. Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, will speak on the panel. Other speakers include H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid; H.E. Dr. Guillaume, minister of health, Haiti; H.E. Dr Adeelah Hammood, minister of health, Iraq; H.E. Ambassador Stevens, Sierra Leone; Dr. Maha Taysir Barakat, United Arab Emirates; Dr. Rabih El-Chammay, Lebanon; Director General Reina Buijs, Netherlands; WHO Director General Dr. Chan (to be confirmed); WHO Assistant Director General Dr. Bruce Aylward; and Conrad Sauvé, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Red Cross.