The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with international partners, launched the SAFER initiative in 2018. The objective of the initiative is to provide support in reducing the harmful use of alcohol by strengthening global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. SAFER is a WHO technical package which aims to assist governments, national & local policy makers to reduce the harmful use of alcohol & related health, social & economic consequences. The Building SAFER Communities project will translate the SAFER package of high impact policy measures to practical multi component interventions for delivery at community level.
Cork City is one of 12 implementation sites nationally. There are two sites in this region – Cork City and Listowel. The Cork Kerry Alcohol Strategy Group will oversee the implementation in the region with a sub group overseeing each site locally and reporting back to the strategy group. An interagency project team and local steering groups will oversee project delivery in 12 implementation sites. Buy in from and participation on these steering groups by a range of local stakeholders including HSE, Gardaí, Tusla, community and voluntary organisations will be key to the success of the project across the implementation sites.
The technical package for the SAFER initiative focuses on five key alcohol policy interventions that are based on accumulated evidence of their impact on population health and their cost-effectiveness (see Table). Further, the SAFER initiative recognizes the need to protect public health-oriented policy-making from interference by the alcohol industry, as well as the importance of a strong and sustainable monitoring system to ensure accountability and track progress in the implementation of the SAFER interventions.