Arab States and COVID-19: Lessons Learned in Preparing & Responding to COVID-19
COVID-19 has affected the whole globe and the region with all Arab countries reporting on COVID-19 cases. Countries in the region have undertaken timely actions to contain the virus and respond to its threats on the public health system and the broader economy. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is far more than a health crisis: it is affecting societies and economies in multiple ways. While the impact of the pandemic varies from one country to another, it will most likely lead to increased poverty and exacerbated inequalities at a global scale, making achievement of SDGs even more urgent.
The Sendai Framework addresses biological hazards such as epidemics and pandemics in addition to natural hazards as a key area of focus for disaster risk management and four of the seven Sendai Framework global targets have direct links to health, focusing on reducing mortality, population wellbeing, early warning and promoting the safety of health facilities and hospitals.
The COVID19 is declared as a national disaster in many countries and the Sendai Framework focal institutions such as national emergency and disaster management organizations have been in the forefront of responding to the current crisis. While there are collaborative efforts between public health institutions and disaster risk management agencies to coordinate the crisis management efforts in some countries, this has not been the case in others, indicating the need for strengthening support for effective multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms, including national DRR platforms.
As part of the continuous effort exerted by UNDRR to engage and support countries to reduce disaster risks, the Regional Office for Arab States is organizing a regional knowledge exchange and policy dialogue webinar with national DRR Focal Points.
The main objective of the webinar is to discuss the lessons learned in responding to the COVID19 crisis by the national Sendai Framework focal point institutions; and facilitate a peer-to-peer exchange among national focal points on effective preparedness, recovery and long-term mitigations measures in combating the far-reaching implications of the pandemic.
Key Questions to be addressed:
- What role national DRR institutions in particular have been playing in COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery efforts?
- What measures and approaches taken to address the broader socio-economic impact of the pandemic in your country and what has been the role of the DRR FPs in this regard.
- As a way forward, what do you see the role of the international development community including the League of Arab States and the United Nations in strengthening the capacity of Arab countries in combating biological hazards and epidemics in the future.
UNDRR Arab States Office, League of Arab States, WHO (TBC),
National Sendai Focal points from: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen
Duration: 2 hours from 11:00am to 13:00am (Cairo Time)
Language: English/ Arabic / French