GHI hosts stakeholder meeting on health needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

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AUB’s Global Health Institute (GHI) brought together 25 representatives of leading NGOs and humanitarian aid agencies in a stakeholder’s engagement meeting as part of its efforts to systematically map the health needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The stakeholders at the convention were organization representatives directly involved in the provision of health services to refugees residing in different regions of Lebanon. Represented organizations and agencies included Action Against Hunger (ACF), Amel Association International, BEYOND Association, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Humedica, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Médecins du Monde (MdM), Relief International, Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA).

The meeting adopted a highly interactive approach and constituted a platform for heads of missions of NGOs and humanitarian agencies, as well as heads of delegations, country coordinators, and health coordinators, among others, to share and exchange information about their current activities in the delivery of health services to Syrian refugees in Lebanon as well as gaps in services being provided and areas in need of intervention. Discussions took place on how efforts can be consolidated and channeled to effectively benefit the target population of refugees. Attendees stressed the importance of such meetings to minimize the duplication of projects and effectively allocate resources using a complementary approach. 

In a working group session, attendees prioritized the health needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and identified approaches to improve the collaborative response to these needs. 

“The challenge of a sustainable and comprehensive response to the health needs of refugees is paramount and requires harmonizing efforts between academic institutions that generate relevant evidence-based recommendations and NGOs that actually lead the field work and services provision,” said Dr. Shadi Saleh, founding director of the AUB GHI.

“The refugee crisis is at its peak with 65 million refugees around the world,” said Qatar Red Crescent’s Head of Delegation Omar Katerji, reflecting on the importance of this meeting. “We thank GHI for bringing all stakeholder to discuss this vital topic and synergize efforts for sustainable solutions.”

Outcome of the stakeholders meeting feeds into the contextualization of the Mobile University for Health capacity building project of GHI, which serves to build capacity of refugees in health-related fields.

“The meeting today is one example of how to improve partnership and coordination,” stated Stefanie Legoff, general coordinator of Médecins du Monde. “I hope it’s the first step of a coordination process that will go further beyond this meeting.” 

GHI addresses global Health challenges with a focus of context-specific issues and sustainable impact by employing an interdisciplinary approach. It is part of AUB’s Health 2025 Vision, which aims to strategically and functionally align the health portfolio at AUB to better serve the health needs of the population in the MENA region, the Global South, and beyond.