Delegate Name: Meira Gable
World Health Organization (WHO)
Around 400 million people worldwide lack access to essential health care, and even for some who have access, the extremely high cost of these resources pushes them into poverty. Across the world, even in developed countries, people are struggling to pay for health care because they must pay out-of-pocket for their treatment. Further, many countries lack the resources, both medical and financial, to fix this. Additionally, in refugee populations, there is minimal access to medical resources, and with 27.1 million refugees worldwide this is a growing and urgent problem. Globally, many people are dying from easily treatable diseases because proper medical treatments are not accessible.
The UN has established many initiatives to help expand access to medical resources, including the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Partnership and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The UHC Partnership provides support to 115 countries, representing a total of around 3 billion people, by assisting in the strengthening of their national health systems. UNHCR is helping refugees all around the world facing poor health conditions by improving medical facilities, providing medical supplies, and training new health workers.
The war in Ukraine has resulted in medical resources being extremely limited and difficult to obtain. Just since February 2022, 7.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country, and 6.9 million have been internally displaced. Even before the war, Ukraine had an abnormally high rate of displacement due to conflict. Ukraine has worked with UNHCR to provide medical humanitarian relief and is part of the UHC Partnership, which has helped reform the health care system. In 2015, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health instituted some substantial changes to the national health system to help increase the efficiency, quality, and modernization. This includes decreasing out-of-pocket expenses and improving the pay of health care workers. However, due to the recent conflict, many of these reforms have not had the desired effect.
Ukraine proposes the WHO take a more unified approach to providing medical assistance to countries in situations of conflict and helping refugees gain better access to safe and cheap health care.The urgency of this cannot be expressed enough, with hundreds of people dying every day in Ukraine and across the world. In addition to this, Ukraine recommends the WHO take measures to help increase the manufacturing of medical supplies and equipment, including the licensing of vaccine formulas.
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“Refugee Statistics.” USA for UNHCR, 2022, https://www.unrefugees.org/refugee-facts/statistics/#:~:text=By%20the%20end%20of%202021,53.2%20million%20internally%20displaced%20people.
“Ukraine Working towards Universal Health Coverage While Responding to COVID-19.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 24 Sept. 2020, https://extranet.who.int/uhcpartnership/story/ukraine-working-towards-universal-health-coverage-while-responding-covid-19.
“UNHCR – Ukraine Emergency.” UNHCR, UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency, 13 Sept. 2022, https://www.unhcr.org/ukraine-emergency.html.
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Yoshizu, Mamiko, et al. “World Bank and WHO: Half the World Lacks Access to Essential Health Services, 100 Million Still Pushed into Extreme Poverty Because of Health Expenses.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 13 Dec. 2017, https://www.who.int/news/item/13-12-2017-world-bank-and-who-half-the-world-lacks-access-to-essential-health-services-100-million-still-pushed-into-extreme-poverty-because-of-health-expenses.