Consultation with UN agencies and other international organizations on the European strategy and action plan on refugee and migrant health
14 April 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark
WHO/Europe is preparing a European strategy and action plan on refugee and migrant health, accompanied by a resolution. These documents, prepared at the request of the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee (SCRC), will be submitted and discussed at the 66th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2016, after online and in-person consultations.
In this context, WHO/Europe is organizing a consultation with UN agencies and other international organizations involved in migration and health.
The main objectives of the consultation are to:
- present the draft European strategy and action plan on refugee and migrant health,
- discuss the activities of each international organization in the area of migration and health in the European Region and
- identify common objectives and discuss possible synergies and joint initiatives to strengthen collaboration among UN agencies and other international organizations in support of the European strategy and action plan.
Over 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe and more than 3700 are estimated to have died or gone missing at sea in 2015 alone. In addition, over 2 million refugees and migrants are living in Turkey, which hosts the world's largest refugee population. The European Region is home to an estimated 73 million migrants, accounting for 8% of its total population. There are short-, medium- and long-term public health implications of migration for both the displaced populations and the host communities in their countries of origin, transit and destination. The issues to be addressed include management of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, mental health, family and child health and health information.
On 23–24 November 2015, the High-level Meeting on Refugee and Migrant Health was organized in Rome by WHO/Europe, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Italy, to discuss a framework for collaborative action to address the health needs of refugees and migrants and the public health implications of migration. Participants in the meeting included representatives from 50 African, Eastern Mediterranean and European countries, experts from WHO/Europe, Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean and other UN agencies and international organizations. The results of the discussions are published in the outcome document "Stepping up action on refugee and migrant health". At the meeting, European countries agreed to prepare a common framework for collaborative action and discussed the importance of strengthening collaboration among UN agencies and other international organizations working in the field of migration and health, as reflected in the outcome document.