About WHO

Polio and Emergencies (PEC)


The Polio and Emergencies (PEC) Cluster works to eradicate polio globally, coordinate and implement health responses to humanitarian emergencies, disasters, crises and conflicts and strengthen WHO’s work in and with countries, with a special emphasis on fragile states and situations.

PEC leads WHO’s technical assistance to countries

PEC aims to achieve these objectives by improving outcomes at the country level. The cluster houses the main Organization-wide elements of the WHO country support function, that aim at tailoring WHO country collaboration to the needs and capacities of all its Member States.

PEC/POL leads the global effort to eradicate polio, a public-private partnership which has reduced the incidence of this disease by 99% over the past 20 years. With endemic polio beaten back to parts of just three countries, PEC/POL manages and coordinates the development of eradication strategies, provides policy guidance and coordinates operational, social and scientific research. Most importantly, PEC/POL provides key technical support to countries as they implement the immunization and surveillance activities to achieve a polio-free world.

Emergency preparedness and response

The cluster is WHO’s humanitarian lead as it coordinates preparedness and response activities to reduce the health impact of emergencies by leading the development of global strategies, identifying best practices, providing evidence to inform global policies, analyzing health trends, and providing technical guidance. In addition, PEC is responsible for fulfilling WHO’s responsibility as the lead agency for the Health Cluster in emergencies, coordinating among the health actors, and mobilizing partner and WHO capacities to ensure the surge to country level of expert staff, logistics, finances, and medicines/supplies for emergency response.

Assistant Director-General - Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration

  • Bruce Aylward
    Assistant Director-General - Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration

PEC departments

Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response (ERM)
Polio Operations and Research (POL)

PEC partnerships

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

PEC contacts

Polio and Emergencies
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27

E-mail: mediainquiries@who.int