Press Release

Municipality of Beirut and UN-Habitat launch Mobile Health Clinic to support COVID-19 response

29 July 2021

  • The Municipality of Beirut launched on Thursday the first municipal mobile health clinic, in partnership with UN-Habitat through the Mayors Migration Council’s Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response. The clinic will provide free and non-discriminatory COVID-19 testing and other basic medical services, to those unable to access these services, including migrants and refugees in marginalized neighbourhoods.

With 95 per cent of reported COVID-19 cases in urban areas across the world, cities are on the frontline of the global public health crisis and in mitigating its socio-economic impact. The pandemic affects urban migrants and displaced persons differently. Language barriers, discrimination, stigma and informal employment all contribute to their restricted access to public health services and benefits.

“The mobile health clinic is an example of the multistakeholder engagement that we need to address the multiple ongoing crises facing Lebanon and Beirut. In order to ensure that Beirut recovers holistically from this difficult period Lebanon is passing through, we need the support of the local community, local and international non-governmental organizations and the wider international community,” said Judge Marwan Abboud, Governor of Beirut.

“This mobile health clinic will help us be better prepared to manage rises in COVID-19 cases whether from new strains such as, delta, or from community transmission. I extend my thanks to UN-Habitat and the Mayors Migration Council for supporting the Municipality of Beirut in the implementation of this initiative,” said Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut.

In Beirut, the mobile health clinic will be working on a rotational schedule at different locations in the neighbourhoods of Tariq El Jdide, Karm El-Zeytoun and others to be defined. To start, the clinic will provide free PCR testing and support in contact tracing while referring individuals concerned about other medical conditions to service providers who could be of support.

“UN-Habitat is delighted to collaborate on the launch of this mobile health clinic, through this critical and timely partnership with the Mayors Migration Council. This clinic will enable vital health services to reach those who need them most, with an initial focus on COVID-19, in dense and vulnerable urban neighbourhoods – helping the Municipality of Beirut achieve an inclusive pandemic response,” said Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme.

“The Beirut Municipal Mobile Health Clinic will serve as not only a crucial lifeline to those who are struggling to survive the pandemic, but a symbol of hope that Beirut will soon provide for all who choose to call this city home despite the many challenges that it faces,” said Samer Saliba, Head of Practice of the Mayors Migration Council.

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About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated Goal on cities, SDG 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

 

About the Mayors Migration Council

The Mayors Migration Council (MMC) is a mayor-led advisory and advocacy organization that helps cities influence national and international policy on migration and displacement. The mission is to ensure that global responses to pressing challenges — from pandemics to climate change — both reflect and address realities on the ground for the benefit of migrants, displaced persons, and the communities that receive them.

The MMC is led by a Leadership Board composed of the mayors of Amman, Bristol, Freetown, Kampala, Los Angeles, Milan, Montreal, and Zürich, as well as the former mayor of Athens. The MMC operates with the financial support of Open Society Foundations, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and is managed as a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure.

 

About the Global Cities Fund

Launched in partnership with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Mayors Migration Council’s Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response directly resources city governments to support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people in municipal Covid-19 response and recovery efforts.

With nine city grantees and a pipeline of more than 20 city government-led projects, in less than a year the Global Cities Fund has established itself has an effective mechanism to help city governments address the immediate needs of their most marginalized residents, while supporting practices that have the potential of being institutionalized, replicated, and scaled in the future.

To build on the Global Cities Fund’s progress, the MMC and its partners call on international actors to drive additional investments to the unmet resource needs of city governments — meeting a joint commitment to support at least 22 by 2022.

To learn more and become a partner, contact fund@mayorsmigrationcouncil.org

 

Municipality of Beirut and UN-Habitat launch Mobile Health Clinic to support COVID-19 response

Lubna Elmahdy

Lubna Elmahdy

UN-Habitat
Communications and Advocacy Consultant

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative