The Elderly: An Investment in Sustainable Development and Population in Palestine 2021

Juzoor For Health & Social Development, under the patronage of his excellency the minister of social development, Dr. Ahmad Majdalani, and the participation of here excellency the minister of Health, Dr. Mai Al-Kaila, in partnership with the ministry of social development and the United Nations Population Fund, and in cooperation with the Palestinian Health Policy Forum, has organized the “Elderly People: An investment in sustainable development and population of Palestine” conference, under the slogan of the third sustainable development goal (SDG3): “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

The conference has been held as to respond for the importance and necessity of improving the lives of the elderly, and to support their social, economic, health and cultural rights to live in dignity, and they deserve a health care and an independent, safe, dignified life free from violence. As a result of health, social and economic conditions and the general state of the elderly in Palestine, the idea of holding the conference came to shed the light on their needs, relevant policies, legislations, the quality of services & care provided to them, and how extent is the participation of the elderly in various fields.

The conference focused on the importance and the necessity of having national policies to protect the health of the elderly, properly respond to their social and economic needs, provide full health care services, adapting convenient services and pave the way for active participation of elderly in society allowing them to provide value and service for their community, as each of them to his specialty & experiences accordingly, in addition to allocate special budgets dedicated to serve the elderly people. It’s hoped that the suggestions and recommendations issued by the conference and written down in this report will take place practically & seriously.

The conference was held on Wednesday 3/11/2021 in Carmel Hotel Hall - Ramallah in a face-to-face arrangement, in addition distance communication via Zoom platform for the participants from Gaza Strip. The formal language of the conference was Arabic (the main language of the conference), in addition to simultaneous interpretation into English. The conference consisted of 5 sessions: the opening session, the conference preface, the first session, the second session, and the closing session.

Each session was managed by a facilitator to present the session and to organize the dialogue and discussions. Each of these sessions included presentations for the speakers followed by open discussion with audience to discuss the presented material. The closing session included a discussion of recommendations and presentation of conclusions and initial ideas for a joint action plan to activate the National Strategic Plan for the Elderly for the years 2021-2026. It is noteworthy that since the beginning of the conference, a recommendations template (form) was distributed to the participants, where the participants submitted their recommendations by placing the form in a dedicated box, where the conference organizers reviewed all recommendations and classified into the main conference pillars.

Many of key actors participated in the conference aside with humanitarians, stakeholders in fields of elderly people rights, ministries, institutions of civil society, international organizations, international donors, private sector, academics, and experts in addition to some elderly people beside the participants from Gaza Strip via the Internet, the total number of participants reached 90, including 52 female participants and 38 male participants.