Humanitarian Health Action

Spain and WHO establish humanitarian assistance fund

Note for the press

29 March 2011 | Geneva, Madrid--The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) and WHO signed an agreement establishing a humanitarian fund to provide timely and effective humanitarian assistance to populations affected by humanitarian crises.

'This Fund will enable WHO to assist the most vulnerable populations by facilitating the rapid and effective deployment of means to protect and reconstitute national capacities ' says Dr Daniel Lopez-Acuña of WHO's humanitarian section.

In addition to its use for emergency relief and rehabilitation, the Spain-WHO Humanitarian Fund can also be used in post-disaster and complex emergency situations or to prevent and minimize the impact of possible disasters on populations.

It will also help to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian aid through coordination and technical cooperation with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian stakeholders.

The Spain-WHO Humanitarian Fund will provide relief in large- and small-scale emergencies and forgotten crises caused by natural disasters or civil conflicts that do not attract sufficient aid.

Through this agreement Spain and WHO will strengthen their existing partnership and it will enable them to jointly review priorities, strategies and activities on a regular basis.

Under the agreement, WHO projects that are eligible for funding include:

  • Public health programmes in disaster and/or crisis areas: immunization campaigns; epidemiological surveillance; prevention and control of communicable diseases; maternal and child health; sexual and reproductive health; environmental health; nutrition; HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis; mental health; chronic diseases; disabilities, etc.
  • Activities involving international and country-level coordination by the Global Health Cluster including the assessment of health needs;
  • Health service support activities intended to re-establish or improve access to health care for populations affected by crises and disasters;
  • Activities intended to re-establish or improve access to medicines and health teams;
  • Technical advice to governments and capacity-building initiatives for health systems and health professionals;
  • Training programmes for health workers.

Since 2007, AECID has been providing support to WHO's humanitarian activities with around USD 2.5 million per year.

For more information:

Tarik Jasarevic
Media and Advocacy Officer
Health Action in Crises
WHO, Geneva
Telephone: +41 791 472 756