A statement by the Health Care Without Harm Global Network
As the world responds to COVID-19 and the intertwined social, political, and economic crises it has spawned, we find ourselves at a crossroads. One path takes us back in the direction we came, propping up old structures and systems that have led to this crisis in the first
place. The other leads in the direction of an unprecedented set of opportunities and the urgent need to forge a just transition to equitable, resilient societies that provide decent work for all,
universal health care, and contribute to a healthy climate.
For our civilization to survive and thrive, we must choose this second path and change systems that place profit over ecological sustainability, health, and wellbeing. We must build structures that
benefit all people, especially the vulnerable and the poor. As part of this effort, we must recognize and address the political, social, and economic factors that govern how health or illnesses move through our communities. As many around the world rise up against systemic racism and discrimination, we must also forge a broad, interconnected agenda for change that fosters health equity, ecological sustainability, and social justice.
As part of this vision, the Health Care Without Harm network - our offices and partner organizations around the world - supports the WHO Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery and its prescriptions for a healthy, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe it is essential to build a global movement for health and environment that contributes to, and becomes part of, the broader social movements for structural change necessary at this critical juncture. We see many hopeful signs of this movement emerging all around the world, taking initiative to forge positive social and environmental change locally, nationally, and globally. This statement is, in many ways, a reflection of that emergent movement, the key issues we believe it must tackle, and the fundamental actions it is already beginning to support.