Paul Spiegel

Why refugees need jobs, bank accounts, and insurance

Monday 12.10.2015

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Our world is in the midst of one of the most intense refugee crises it has ever seen. In fact, 1 in every 122 persons in the world has been displaced due to conflict. At 60 million, this is enough to form the world’s 24th largest country. As the international community, largely unprepared, is struggling to meet the demands, Dr. Paul Spiegel of UNHCR joins #KAPtalks to argue for a new paradigm. He suggests we must go beyond the donor-assistance system to one in which refugees must be given cash, bank accounts and health insurance. 

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Paul Spiegel is the Deputy Director of the Division of Programme Support and Management at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He was previously Chief of the Public Health and HIV Section at UNHCR, where he still serves as the Refugee Agency’s HIV Global Coordinator at UNAIDS. Before UNHCR, Dr. Spiegel worked as a Medical Epidemiologist in the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branchat the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Previously he worked as a Medical Coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontiéres and Médecins du Monde in refugee settings in Kenya and DRC as well as a consultant for numerous organisations. He received his medical degree at the University of Toronto and his Master of Public Health and specialty in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He has won numerous awards including CDC‘s Charles C. Shepard award for outstanding research in Assessment and Epidemiology.

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