Cairo, 28 June 2022 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) today held a regional dialogue on diaspora engagement in health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. They highlighted the shortage in the health workforce, especially of the most skilled and qualified health professionals, that is being driven by migration in low-income countries in the Region as a result of low wages, poor working conditions and lack of professional development opportunities, instability and security concerns in some countries of the Region. 

Such shortages, resulting in a significant lack of a well-trained and experienced health workforce, have long been a major development concern, and the migration and mobility of health care workers has only been exacerbated by protracted crises in the Region, the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing demand for health professionals in developed countries. This trend is expected to continue, and it is estimated that by 2030 there will be a global shortage of 18 million health workers. The mass migration of health workers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region means that the Region could serve as an important source of data and research in order to understand the consequences of the health workforce diaspora and develop solutions to address health workforce challenges. 

Carmela Godeau, IOM’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director said, “Today, we applaud and honour all the migrant health heroes who have worked around the clock to face the deadly impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives. While we celebrate the heroic efforts and

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