COVID-19 presents opportunities for greater collaboration on the SDGS, says WHO’s Regional Director

At a recent webinar on the Region’s response to COVID-19, organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and WHO, the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari said that the COVID-19 pandemic had presented an opportunity for greater collaboration between all sectors to work together on achieving the ambitious targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, noting that currently the Region was a long way from achievement of many of the health-related goals.

The Executive Director of ESCWA Dr Rola Dashti discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on progress towards the Agenda for Sustainable Development following the launch of the Arab Sustainable Development Report in April 2020. The report offers a situation analysis of the 17 SDGs in the Arab region and captures the enormity of the challenges facing Arab countries. As such, it supports the efforts of governments and stakeholders by assessing gaps, highlighting obstacles, and identifying critical entry points.