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Build Back Fairer: Achieving Health Equity in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Report of the Regional Commission on Social Determinants of Health

About the Commission

The Regional Commission on the Social Determinants of Health was established in November 2019 to review health inequities in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region and issue recommendations to address these inequities.

The Executive Summary report of the Commission was launched on 31 March 2021.  An Executive Brief Report introducing the final report of the Commission was also published.

The Commission's report, based on an indepth analysis, not only discusses structural issues, such as conflict and climate change, but also examines inequities in the conditions of daily life in areas such as education and work. The report provides evidence and guidance on the Region's progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals in alignment with WHO’s Thirteenth Global Programme of Work and the regional Vision 2023.

A Promotional Video from the Commission

Click the video to view full screen. Credit: WHO/EMRO

Read the flyer for more information about the webinar launch event.

Background on the Commission

The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO) convened a Commission on Social Determinants of Health (SDH) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in 2019. The Commission is jointly convened by WHO/EMRO, the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR) and the Institute for Health Equity at the University College London (IHE/UCL). Professor Sir Michael Marmot is chair of the Commission.

 VIEW: Leaflet about the Commission

VIEW: Handbook for the first expert group meeting EMRO Commission on social determinants of health.


In a statement about the new commission and his appointment as Chair, Professor Marmot wrote: 


I was delighted to be asked by the Director of EMRO to chair the EMR Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The Commission demonstrates a determination by the Director of EMRO and colleagues to take a hugely significant and active role in reducing avoidable health inequalities which, as in other regions, blight the lives of so many in EMR. These health inequalities are not only the result of unequal access to health care, but they arise from inequities in the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.The EMR Commission will build on the work of the Global Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2008) and subsequent regional reports in Euro and PAHO. Both regional commissions have added to evidence and supported prioritisation and action on health inequalities. It is expected that the EMR Commission will build knowledge, capacity and ambition on the social determinants of health inequalities and support the regions, member states and stakeholder to take action.


Prof. Marmot and Dr Allen were previously invited to present a commentary (2015) on WHO EMRO | Health priorities and the social determinants of health. The full commentary can be read and downloaded by following this link.