Thank you for the opportunity to address you on behalf of IOGT International, supported by the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.
We note with concern that the health needs of specific groups are not mentioned in the report.
Children growing up in families with alcohol problems are exposed to severe health threats. But current efforts are failing them. Out of 100,000 affected children in Sweden, for instance, only 2.5% receive adequate help.
Alcohol is also fueling the epidemic of gender-based violence and women suffer increasingly from alcohol-related conditions; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a global epidemic that urgently needs attention; Alcohol harm burdens adolescents disproportionately and fuels all three major causes of adolescent deaths; But none of these aspects are tackled in the report.
The absence of these topics from the report indicate that there is no or too little action regarding these health and development issues.
But there are substantial benefits in systematically addressing cross-cutting risk factors, like alcohol, to promote women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health.
We therefore urge WHO and Member States to institute stronger cross-sectorial mechanisms to identify and address health risk factors in all areas they pose obstacles; and we call on WHO and Member States to better leverage the alcohol policy best buys – as packaged in the SAFER initiative – to help achieve health for all.