Geneva 21 August 2014—UN-Habitat and the World Health Organization (WHO) last week initiated the second phase of a joint report aimed at unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings.

This was a follow-up to a report Hidden Cities by the two agencies done in 2010 and which marked the first time that evidence on the magnitude of health inequities in urban settings was presented to a global audience.

“Given increased interest and recognition of addressing health in urban settings, the emergence of universal health coverage on the global health agenda with an emphasis on ensuring equity, and a responsibility to follow up on progress since the first Hidden Cities report, WHO and UN-Habitat have decided to pursue a second joint report, tentatively referred to as Hidden Cities II,” a statement by the joint steering committee meeting in Geneva last week said.

According to the statement, the objectives of the report would be to provide updated as well as new data on urban health inequities; report progress in addressing existing challenges; and to set the context for addressing urban health issues going forward, highlighting both new challenges and possible solutions.

“This report will also provide a significant and timely opportunity to raise awareness among the wider global community on the links between sustainable urban development, universal health coverage, and achieving equitable health opportunities and outcomes for all citizens,” the statement said.

A Steering Committee of experts from relevant fields and organizations has been set up to provide advice on the objectives, target audiences, content, structure and dissemination of the report. Last week’s was first face-to-face meeting of the Steering Committee members to chart the way forward for the report. The anticipated launch for the report is the last quarter of 2015.

Professor Oyebanji Oyeyinka, director/Chief Scientific Advisor of UN-Habitat chaired the Steering Committee meeting.