Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development Expresses Alarm at Human Rights Watch’s Incitement to Stop World Bank-funded Health Projects in Egypt

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development expressed deep alarm at a statement issued by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday to incite the World Bank to halt its health projects in Egypt, which the bank rejected in its response to the organization.

The Coalition denounces this strange behaviour by an organization claiming to defend human rights. The Coalition questions the international human rights community on how long will international organizations remain silent on Human Rights Watch’s serious professional mistakes against Egypt and other countries around the world through the method of incitement and abuse against Egypt with misinformation that reveals the politicizing approach that has dominated the international organization’s statements on Egypt and monitored by the Coalition over the past years.

In its latest statement, the organization has resulted in the nature of its politicized orientation against Egypt, which has reached a degree of immoral abuse by calling on the World Bank, an international institution concerned with development around the world, to stop its medical projects in Egypt, while Egypt, like the rest of the world, suffers from the effects of the Corona pandemic on the health system, which may put patients in Egypt at risk, which raises another question whether defending human rights can include such as those campaigns that incite the suspension of medical projects and prevent the human from obtaining his right to adequate health care?

International human rights conventions have affirmed the right to health in international and regional human rights treaties, and in national constitutions around the world such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1966, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1979 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in article 12 also states that the measures that need to be taken to realize this right include:

Reducing the neonatal death rate, infant mortality and ensuring healthy child development;

Improving environmental and industrial hygiene;

Prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;

Creating conditions that will provide medical services and medical care for all in case of illness.

To clarify and activate these texts, in 2000, the United Nations Commission on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted a public commentary on the right to health, emphasizing that the right to health involves not only timely provision of health-care services but also hidden health determinants, such as clean and safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and adequate supplies of safe and nutritious foods and housing. Safe, professional and environmental health conditions and the provision of appropriate health education and information, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

The World Bank in Egypt is implementing health projects in keeping with these issues and there is great cooperation between it and the Egyptian government, which is facing exceptional and difficult circumstances related to providing services to its citizens who are more than 100 million people under the circumstances of the Corona pandemic, which has strained health systems in all countries of the world and therefore any suspension of these projects will endanger the lives of millions.

The Coalition called on international institutions concerned to find an appropriate formula to counter such politicized statements, which are completely drifting away from human rights purposes, distorting the effort of the international human rights system in developing knowledge of human rights and putting human rights defenders in Egypt in the position of accusation, as inciting an international institution such as Human Rights Watch to stop health projects endangers the right to health, a fundamental right of citizens within Egypt.

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