High-level Roundtable with UN Regional Directors and Media Editors

Invitation to the Media

01 March 2021


A high-level roundtable featuring Regional Directors from UN agencies and editors from the Region. Panellists will reflect on the challenges and lessons learnt when communicating about the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify ways to strengthen collaboration for informed coverage and responsible reporting, with the common goal of ensuring that the public has access to the information they need to make knowledgeable decisions about their health.


The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges for both UN response agencies and journalists in the region. UN agencies are working to communicate facts and potential risks to people to highlight the role of the public in efforts to control COVID-19 transmission disease. Journalists need to absorb and communicate rapidly evolving and complex scientific information, and face challenges in balancing reporting on the pandemic with the many competing emergencies in the region. Understanding how to best identify and respond to the community’s questions, concerns and rumours surrounding the pandemic can also pose a challenge for many media outlets and other communicators.

The “new normal” phase of the pandemic requires us all to adapt to a long-term COVID response and new way of life. Both the UN and the media have a critical role to play in addressing fatigue and complacency and sustaining long term behaviour change. Rumours, misinformation, lack of adherence to public health measures, and vaccine hesitancy could have a negative impact on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. Now more than ever, media and humanitarian and health agencies need to work together for the public good.


Regional Directors

  • Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
  • Dr. Hossam Elsharkawi, IFRC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
  • Mrs. Carmela Godeau, IOM Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa 


Senior Editors

  • Mohamed Elfaki, Senior Producer, Al Jazeera
  • Amina Khairy, Independent Arabia
  • Others - TBC


When: Wednesday, 3 March 2021 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm (Cairo/Amman/Beirut time)


The event will be moderated by Ricardo Karam, television presenter and talk-show host.



The high-level media roundtable will be streamed on Zoom, with simultaneous translation available in Arabic and English. Please register to attend: https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AJUl0jclQiC2DVMnc9GHyQ


Media contacts

Salim Oweis
Communication Officer
Tel: 00962799365212


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