Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said the international community must integrate the health of migrants and their families in the global discourse of UHC (Universal Health Coverage).
She was delivering the inaugural speech as the Co-Chair of the Friends of Migration Group at a high level virtual event on Thursday titled ‘Advancing Migrant’s Access to Healthcare in the time of COVID-19’ jointly organised by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Permanent Missions of Portugal, Morocco and the Friends of Migration Group.Echoing the call of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the 31st special session of the UNGA for ensuring equal access for all to COVID-19 vaccines in the true spirit of UHC, Ambassador Fatima urged the global community to ensure the availability of affordable vaccines, medicines, and equipment for migrants in vulnerable situations. She encouraged WHO to strengthen its mission to serve the migrants in vulnerable situation, as an integral part of universal health coverage for all.
Highlighting the dire consequences facing millions of migrants due to the pandemic she said that Bangladesh co-led a Joint Statement on the Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants in June 2020, which was eventually supported of 103 Member States. The statement invites Member States to incorporate the health needs of migrants in national and local health care policies and plans.
She added that Bangladesh has included the migrants and the returnee migrants in the stimulus package for COVID response and recovery.
Stressing the importance of harnessing the development potentials of migration, she said, “A healthy migrant, is a productive migrant”. She encouraged IOM, IFRC and WHO to share good practices and policies in this regard. In conclusion, she urged for strong political will to combat rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance against migrants to ensure the rights, well-being, and dignity of the migrants everywhere.
The event was addressed, among others, President of IFRC and Director General of IOM.