WHO in emergencies

Investing in the health of Syrians is an investment in the future of Syria, WHO says

24 April 2018, Cairo/Geneva -- As the international community comes together in Brussels to show support for Syrians and for a political solution to the conflict, WHO calls for increased investments in health to protect the lives of almost 17 million vulnerable men, women and children inside Syria and in 5 major neighbouring countries.

WHO/L. Mackenzie
Isa Salah, 7 months, was brought from Sharis district in Hajjah governorate to Al-Jumhoori Hospital in Hajjah City. Enduring five miscarriages, the feeble mother looks too weak to be able to breastfeed her child.

WHO scales up support to mitigate child malnutrition in Yemen

18 April 2018 – Wanisa is sitting beside her 7-month-old child, Soraya, anxious that she will meet the same fate as her older sister who died of severe malnutrition just a few days ago. Wanisa brought her weak child to the WHO-supported stabilization centre in Kamaran Hospital in Al-Marawia district, Al-Hudaydah governorate, seeking proper treatment. The newly established centre provides treatment to children in need, as many families used to travel a greater distance to Hudaydah City to have their children treated.

WHO/Sadeq Al-Wesabi

KS Relief Supervisor General Visits Joint WHO and Government Project to Increase Health Care for the Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar

12 April 2018 Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh -- H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre's Supervisor General and Advisor at the Royal Court visited the Sadar District Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. His visit was to observe the work under the joint improvement project between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, World Health Organization and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KS Relief) to enhance health care services at Sadar Hospital for Rohingyas and their host communities.

WHO Bangladesh

Healing the mental scars of violence in northeastern Nigeria

10 April 2018 - Nearly 7 million people are living in camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in northeastern Nigeria. In emergency settings, the rate of common mental disorders can double. Gender based violence, abductions, and gross atrocities can trigger psychological problems which take years to heal. WHO estimates that as many as 1 in 5 people in IDP camps may need mental health care.

This feature tells the story of Aisha, a 13-year-old girl in northeastern Nigeria who witnessed her brother's killing. Her story is one of the many.

A physiotherapist at the Directorate of Disability and Physical Rehabilitation in Damascus stands next to Gofran, 15. She lost her leg after stepping on a landmine in northeast Syria

Explosive hazards pose fatal risks to children and families in Syria

4 April 2018, Damaskus – Marking the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF are calling for concerted international action in response to the devastating health consequences of explosive hazards in Syria. More than 8 million people are exposed to explosive hazards in Syria, including over 3 million children.

WHO/L. Mackenzie

Donors pledge over US$15 million to fund emergencies

27 March 2018 – Donors have pledged an additional US$15.3 million to support quick action to tackle disease outbreaks and humanitarian health crises.

Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland announced contributions ranging from US$20,000 to US$5.6 million increasing CFE funding levels to US$23 million.

Vaccination campaign in Kutupalong camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Enabling quick action to save lives – the Contingency Fund for Emergencies

March 2018 — Since its launch in 2015, the Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) has been providing funding during the critical gap between the moment the need for an emergency response is identified and the point at which resources from other financing mechanisms begin to flow. To date, the fund has made more than 60 emergency allocations for a total of $ 46 million in response to disease outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies with health consequences.

A pledging conference for the CFE will take place on Monday 26 March 2018 from 14:00 to 17:00 in the WHO headquarters.


Outbreaks and crises

Map showing emergencies around the world that has a WHO grading, 2016.

WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences.

What we do

From prevention through preparedness to early warning, response, and early recovery, the WHO Health Emergencies programme is operational.


Health crisis in Central African Republic.
WHO/C. Black

WHO thanks all of the contributors that provide funding or in-kind contribution for WHO’s work for emergencies.


WHO coordinates the international health response to emergencies and humanitarian crises, but we cannot do this work without our partners who help us deliver health services in even the most difficult situations.


Each issue of the Health Emergency Highlights contains information on the current humanitarian context, the health priorities and response operations

R&D Blueprint

Illustration of lab equipment.

The R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan to ensure that targeted R&D can strengthen the emergency response by bringing medical technologies to patients during epidemics.

Disease Outbreak News (DONs)


WHO training on personal protective equipment during the Ebola outbreak in Guinea

The Director-General has established an Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC), to provide oversight and monitoring of the development and performance of the Programme and to guide the Programme’s activities.