WHO's Azerbaijan Office: We will face more challenges in the future, it is inevitable

Hande Harmancı, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative and Head of Country Office in Azerbaijan

© APA | Hande Harmancı, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative and Head of Country Office in Azerbaijan

# 20 June 2024 17:40 (UTC +04:00)

“Health is not everything, but nothing is possible without health. Health should be the number one priority in all development efforts,” said Hande Harmancı, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative and Head of Country Office in Azerbaijan at a panel discussion at 29th high-level meeting on “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future”, APA reports.

“COVID-19 has taught us this very well. We were hit by such a great shock that it activated a very primitive feeling, the instinct to live. We closed our borders. We became more and more suspicious of our governments, the WHO, our neighbors. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculations, COVID-19 has caused us about USD 14 trillion dollars in damage. This alone was 9% of GDP, and we cannot estimate the cost of the loss of trust in institutions, the ongoing public unrest, and the impact on multilateral decision-making.

Now we are preparing for another multilateral decision-making process called COP29. It is undoubtedly about an existential problem, climate change. However, this time there is no place to run and close the doors. There is no other planet where we can go and start life again. Taking responsibility and taking action is one way to prevent future pandemics such as COVID-19. We will face more challenges in the future, it is inevitable. In order to save lives, reduce costs and contribute to global peace and development, governments and countries must join forces,” - Hande Harmancı noted.

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