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May 27 '21, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

”Lessons For Alcohol Policy From the Coronavirus Crisis: Potential and Challenges For Building Back Better”

Joint Event


The event is jointly organized by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Movendi International, NCD Alliance and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Other high-level participants

Ministry of Health Sri Lanka,

Ministry of Health Kenya,

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),

IOGT-NTO, Sweden


May 27, 2021


1.00-2.30 PM Central European Summer Time

Meeting place

Zoom platform


Please register for the event, here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Click to register for the joint event



The coronavirus crisis has brought into sharp focus the burden alcohol harms place on health systems in particular and societies in general. The pandemic has also shown that evidence-based alcohol policy interventions are impactful in protecting people and promoting health system functioning. But the alcohol industry is attempting to exploit the crisis for their commercial benefits.

Major reports have provided unique and timely insights into these lethal interactions between alcohol and COVID-19.

Key guidance from the World Health Organization has provided advice to people and member states on how to prevent and reduce alcohol harm during the pandemic and how to get through the crisis better through alcohol prevention and control.


This event aims to take stock of the state of the art of global and regional experiences and knowledge around alcohol and the pandemic.

And it maps the needs for addressing alcohol harm going forward. What’s the role of alcohol prevention and control for building back better in the coming months and years? This event will provide key insights and will chart the way forward.

Program and speakers

  1. Opening: Kristina Sperkova, International President, Movendi International
  2. Introductory remarks: Dr Anselm Hennis, Director, NCDs and Mental Health, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  3. The Americas situation: Dr Maristela Monteiro, Senior Advisor on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, PAHO
    1. Alcohol consumption, harm, policy in the region
    2. Lessons from the COVID-19
  4. The European situation: Dr Carina Ferreira-Borges, Acting Head of the European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office)
    1. Alcohol consumption, harm, policy in the region
    2. Lessons from the COVID-19
  5. The global situation: Per Leimar, Alcohol Policy Advisor, IOGT-NTO
    1. Key findings from the “Alcohol & COVID-19” report
  6. Big Alcohol and the pandemic: Lucy Westerman, Policy and Campaigns Manager, NCD Alliance
    1. Key findings from the “Signaling virtue” report
  7. Country perspective #1: Dr Mercy Wacera Karanja, Focal Person, Substance Use Management, MoH Kenya
    1. Kenya’s plans and needs for alcohol policy development going forward
  8. Country perspective #2: Dr Rohan Ratnayake, Director, Directorate of Mental Health, MoH Sri Lanka
    1. Sri Lanka’s plans and needs for alcohol policy development going forward
  9. OECD perspective: Michele Cecchini, Senior Health Policy Analyst, Project Leader Public Health, Organization for Economic Collaboration and Development (OECD)
    1. Addressing alcohol harm to promote healthier and stronger recovery after COVID-19
  10. Discussion
  11. Final panel remarks: What is the lesson/ insight from today’s conversation for the way forward?
  12. Closing: Kristina Sperkova

Event flyer and program

Download the event flyer and program here.