The Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict

A refugee camp in Syria

IDRC grantees based at the American University of Beirut’s Faculty of Health Sciences are leading the “Commission on Syria: Health in conflict” for The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical and health science publications. The journal has adopted a series of global Commissions that convene multidisciplinary groups of experts to produce thematic work aimed at improving human lives through scientific review and inquiry and to encourage accountability for the problem under study.

The Commission on Syria was the first of The Lancet’s global Commissions to be led by a Southern institution. The Commission’s aim is to mobilize global action to address the current and future health needs of the Syrian population and to inform the rebuilding of a global health response to the ongoing conflict. This includes advocating for the protection of Syrians in conflict zones, the safeguarding of health facilities and personnel, and the provision and protection of aid response. It also hopes to inform the enormous efforts that will be required in the post-conflict rebuilding of the health system, including human resources (doctors, nurses, technicians, and specialists).

The Commission initially launched with the release of its first major article, Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry for The Lancet–American University of Beirut Commission on Syria. The article received wide coverage when it was published in March 2017, marking the sixth anniversary of the Syrian civil war.

The Commission on Syria has since produced and contributed to research papers, expert reports, and advocacy pieces, and has  organized and participated in global policy dialogues about issues of healthcare in conflict. The Commission will issue its full report in 2019.

Building on its extensive work in Syria and recognizing the need for global leadership and cooperation among Southern institutions, the Commission is now spearheading efforts to establish a Global Society on Health and Armed Conflict, also expected to launch in 2019.

For updates and more information, see Health in Conflict: The Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria

Several Commissions (including the Commission on Syria) remain open and issue regular reports; these include the Commissions on Health and Climate Change, and Investing in Health, respectively.