1B people leaving their homes by choice or force: WHO

World
Tue, 31 Oct 2023 7:17 GMT
First global research agenda on health, migration and displacement is 'important step' in effort to drive evidence-informed policies and practices, says WHO chief.
1B people leaving their homes by choice or force: WHO

One billion people around the world are currently leaving their homes by choice or force, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its first-ever global research agenda published on Monday.

The agenda on health, migration and displacement aims to guide research efforts to understand and address the health needs of migrants, refugees and all forcibly displaced populations and shape responsive policies and practices worldwide, the WHO said in a statement.

"There are one billion people currently leaving their homes by choice or force due to various factors such as wars, conflicts, income inequalities, economic shifts, urbanization and climate change," it said, underlining the need to develop evidence-based policies that ensure "no one is left behind."

"However, there is a lack of comprehensive knowledge about what works to better support the health of people on the move," it said.

It added that such a gap in knowledge impacts people’s well-being and slows down global progress towards universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goals.

During the year-long consultative process of the global research agenda, the WHO said, five priority research themes were agreed on that require greater investment.

Those themes include ways to scale up access to services and achieve inclusive universal health coverage, actions to make health emergency preparedness more responsive, a better understanding of the determinants of health and ways to address them, more visibility for under-researched groups of migrants and forcibly displaced populations, and new ways to collaborate in research and translate research into policy and practice.

"The first WHO global research agenda on health, migration and displacement is an important step in our efforts to drive evidence-informed policies and practices," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement.

"By bridging the knowledge gap on the health needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, the report will help us navigate a world that is increasingly on the move," he added.

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