Call to Action - Universal Health Coverage in Emergencies

This Call to Action is a commitment to accelerate efforts to improve the coverage of quality essential health services without risk of financial hardship. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage for people affected by armed conflicts, fragile settings, health and other emergencies.

To deliver on our commitment to the goals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and in the spirit of leaving no one behind, further efforts are needed for people affected by fragility, armed conflict, other situations of violence, environmental crisis or natural disaster. In response to the urgent need for coherent approaches bringing together humanitarian and development actors to expand coverage in armed conflict and crisis-affected situations and to protect health care professionals and facilities under attack, a side event at the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly was organized. During the event, Afghanistan and Switzerland have launched the Call to Action – Universal Health Coverage in Emergencies (see link below).

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© Fotolia / DEZA

Recalling our collective commitment to achieve better health and well-being for all in the 2030 Agenda, we acknowledge that the highest attainable standard of health is a human right. The co-signatories recognize that ensuring good health and well-being (SDG3) as well as promoting peace, justice and strong and inclusive institutions (SDG 16) are indivisible.

The protection of and respect for the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, is at the heart of International Humanitarian Law and has been reiterated by Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016). We call on all Member States and other relevant actors to respect these norms, to support programmes to prevent attacks on health care, and to support the WHO and other organizations in their efforts to collect data on these attacks.

We invite all interested parties to express their support and join the Call to Action to promote:

  • An initiative to place the political commitment for UHC in Emergencies on the agenda  and to have a much-needed conversation about health care, the continuum of care and the nexus of humanitarian and development cooperation in the field of health.
  • A strategic vision with a pragmatic ambition to raise awareness and mobilize political support for the high-level year on UHC in 2019 and beyond: Accelerating sustainable progress towards UHC in emergency settings.
  • Further collaborative work to define principles and concrete actions to develop innovative solutions in order to ensure the continuity of access to health services.
This picture shows the initial co-signatories to the Call to Action on a map. For more information see the text below.
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The initial co-signatories to the Call to Action are:

  • Afghanistan (co-host)
  • Botswana
  • Central African Republic
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Somalia
  • Spain
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland (co-host)
  • United Kingdom

As well as:

  • GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance)
  • Global Fund

Watch the Side - Event during the High-Level-Week of the 73rd UN General Assembly to launch the Call to Action – UHC in Emergencies with keynote speaker Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, and final remarks by Ambassador Saikal Saheb, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.

Last modification 06.08.2019

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