Approaches to protect and maintain healthcare services in armed conflict - meeting SDGs 3 and 16

This seminar will expose the dramatic gap between health needs and health capacity in conflict-affected settings and highlight the need to better protect the healthcare system and keep it running during periods of conflict. Recommendations for data collection and research that can provide an informed basis for new approaches and their implementation will be presented.

A medic carries a child following an airstrike on Aleppo. Photo: Karam al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images

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The Norwegian Red Cross, the Centre for Global Health (CGH) at the University of Oslo and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) invite you to a seminar exploring healthcare services in areas of armed conflict. Armed conflict and other situations of violence are major challenges to sustainable development, including their impact on access to and delivery of quality healthcare services. Healthcare services in these regions are exposed to attacks and are extremely under-resourced. As a result, millions of people have no access to healthcare at all and the effects of a collapsed healthcare system often long outlive the conflict itself by many years. In this regard, two Sustainable Development Goals overlap: SDG3 and SDG16.[1]

New approaches are needed to better protect impartial healthcare services and ensure an informed engagement of development actors, not just after the conflict, but also during conflict so that the healthcare system continues to function when it is needed the most and will not need to be rebuilt from scratch once the conflict is over.

Recently, some states and development institutions have moved towards new ways of thinking[2], but in order to develop contextualized and effective approaches to protect healthcare services while simultaneously keeping the healthcare system running in conflict areas, more data and information are needed at the national and regional levels.

Seminar agenda

09:00 Coffee and refreshments  
09:15 Welcome

Robert Mood, Norwegian Red Cross


Presentations: Protecting and maintaining healthcare services in conflict situations: A precondition to meeting SDG 3

Moderator: Andrea S. Winkler
  Challenges and local solutions to providing healthcare services in cross-fire Hanna Kaade, Medical Doctor from Aleppo, Syria
Denial of healthcare used as a weapon of war: Will there no longer be possible to obtain a humanitarian space in today's conflicts? Morten Rostrup, Professor at UiO and Senior consultant to the Department of Acute Medicine, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo / Médecins Sans Frontières
SDG 3 meets SDG 16: Patterns of attacks on medical personnel and facilities Scott Gates and Håvard Nygård, Peace Research Institute Oslo
Protecting and maintaining healthcare services: A precondition to a SDG on Health Frederik Siem, Norwegian Red Cross

Panel 1: Actions to ensure a safer access to and delivery of healthcare services in conflict affected settings

Moderator: Frederik Siem

Panel 2: Necessary components of an adapted approach to closing the gap between health needs and health capacity in conflict affected settings

Moderator: Scott Gates
12:00 Concluding remarks and recommendations Henrik Urdal, Peace Research Institute Oslo


Please sign up for this event by Nov. 27th.


Replica of an ambulance at war - pierced by gunfire. Photo: Red Cross


[1] Sustainable Development Goal 3: "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages"
Sustainable Development Goal 16: "Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies"

[2] For one example, see the Norwegian government's new framework for engagement in fragile States and regions atårbar

Published Nov. 1, 2017 4:08 PM - Last modified Jan. 28, 2021 2:21 PM