Mission statement and background

The Syria Public Health Network was established in early 2015 in response to calls for an independent and critical assessment of the humanitarian and health response to the crisis, from colleagues working in Syria and the wider region. It aims to create an independent and neutral space for discussion, analysis and to generate policy proposals for the types of health interventions and research that might help to address current and future health needs in Syria and the region.


A key function of the network is to improve understanding of the types of research and interventions that are taking place within the health response, and their political and social determinants. Workshops organised by the network incorporate key people working for UN agencies, donors, iNGOs, NGOs as well as academic researchers, journalists and those working on the ground in Syria and neighbouring countries.


Chairs: Dr Aula Abbara and Dr Fouad M Fouad

Steering Committee:

The steering committee of SPHN and our wider network includes academics, medical, public health and social policy professionals who have worked extensively on health and social welfare issues in Syria and the Middle East and North Africa before and after the onset of the current conflict. They bring a diverse range of experience and professional connections to SPHN which aims to amplify and advocate for the current and future needs of Syrian health care workers, refugees and host communities. 

The steering committee includes chairs and steering committee members. The wider network refers to the wider professional network which includes international organisations, civil society and individuals spanning the academic, NGO/INGO, government, media and donor communities.

Our current activities

SPHN co-chair Dr Fouad M Fouad is a commissioner on the Lancet Commission on Syria and has co-authored the first contribution of the commission which was published in the Lancet on the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict. It explores the weaponisation of healthcare in Syria. (http://thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30741-9/fulltext).

Research, policy and media support

The SPHN can provide assistance with media queries on the situation in the region as well as setting up policy roundtables linking NGOs to donor communities. We also help with the design and implementation of research on the Syria crisis.