According to the World Health Organization and Inter-Agency Standing Committee, mental health needs arising from a humanitarian disaster are best addressed by accessing the existing mental health services, and by capacity building initiatives that improve and extend these, rather than by setting up separate services for disaster survivors. Capacity building of primary health care (PHC) workers on mental health issues is an important part of a humanitarian assistance, but also an essential prerequisite for closing the treatment gap for mental disorders in low and middle-income (LAMI) countries. Effectiveness of interventions to change health professionals’ behavior and practices should be a priority area for researchers in developing countries. Still, there is a limited evidence on effectiveness of mental health training for PHC workers in emergency and post-emergency settings in LAMI countries.
Of the more than 27 million children estimated to lack access to education in emergency situations, substantial numbers are internally displaced. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement underscores the necessity that authorities make educational and training facilities available to the internally displaced as soon as conditions permit. However, all too often, this right to education is addressed only once conflicts have subsided. The author believes that far greater attention, priority and efforts need to be devoted to minimizing the disruption to education invariably resulting from displacement while maximizing the potential protection and other critical support that going to school can provide internally displaced children. Barriers that IDPs face in accessing their right to education, and steps to bridge the gaps in education is presented and outlined in this article.