UfM – WHO Webinars: Towards more liveable and healthy cities in the Euro-Mediterranean region
In 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate across sectors in reinforcing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In general terms, the WHO-UfM partnership aims to support UfM Member States in building capacity and promoting action for health, including through health research, health education and advocacy for health, in all policy domains of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. More specifically, an important area of collaboration is in supporting SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities – to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In this regard, the UfM and the WHO Regional Office for Europe hosted four joint webinars focusing on the health impact of urban environments in 2021 and 2022: “Environment and Health in Seaport Cities” (June 2021 and July 2022), “Urban Nature, Green Spaces and Health” (March 2022), and “Protecting Environments and Health by Building Urban Resilience” (October 2022). The webinars brought together urban practitioners and decision-makers from a variety of countries, cities and organisations, and provided an overview of both challenges and solutions to embed health and wellbeing in the planning and management of urban settings. Over 10001 participants have attended the webinars, which were provided in English, French and Arabic language. The UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 is expected to further strengthen UfMWHO collaboration in the years ahead.