On November 23, 2018, AUB President Fadlo Khuri, AUB’s Global Health Institute (GHI) Founding Director Shadi Saleh, and faculty members and researchers from AUB participated in the launching event of the Research for Health in Conflict–MENA project (R4HC-MENA). The event took place at the British Academy in London and was attended by regional and international partners.
R4HC-MENA is a four-year project that aims to strengthen and sustain research capacity in the region to address major health challenges arising from conflict. The project tackles mental health, cancer, political economy of health, and capacity building on health in conflict with a focus on Jordan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, and Turkey, as well as conflict-affected populations in the region. AUB’s GHI is a key partner on the project, which is led by King’s College London. Other partners are from the universities of Hacettepe, Birzeit, and Cambridge, in addition to Imperial College London, and King Hussein Cancer Center.
During the launching event, Professor Funmi Olonisaki, vice-president and vice-principal international and professor of security, leadership and development at King’s College London said, “Pillars to solving global health challenges are producing and encouraging the transfer of knowledge, yielding leadership and building sustainable partnerships.”
President Khuri also spoke at the event, reflecting on the pivotal role that AUB has played for decades in identifying and addressing the public health consequences of war through its faculties and institutes. Khuri stressed on the importance of this timely project and key partnerships that align with AUB’s vision and mission, combining regional and international academic and field expertise, and bringing together multidisciplinary faculties to build research capacity on health in conflict.
“Since its inception, the Global Health Institute at the American University of Beirut has been generating knowledge that is exportable and transformable as reflected through GHI divisions,” said Khuri. “A key strategic partnership with R4HC-MENA is celebrated today to build sustainable research capacity.” He concluded by highlighting AUB’s commitment that aspires to improve health and narrow the gap between academia and the community, regionally and globally, through research and education.
In his comment, GHI Founding Director Shadi Saleh said, “Strategic partnerships that comprise institutions from the Global South and North with equal contributions and responsibilities are key to create sustainable solutions to global health challenges in any region.” He added that this is an approach that AUB’s GHI is committed to. “R4HC-MENA, through the commitment of its stakeholders, is an exemplary model for such an approach. The strategic aim is to build an extended community of researchers examining health challenges in conflict settings and supporting the implementation of evidence-based interventions to help alleviate some of those challenges.”