Humanitarian Health Action

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WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering in times of crisis. Yet we can only carry out this important work if we have the resources to do so.

WHO relies on voluntary contributions from Member States and other partners to fund our work in emergencies. Together we can achieve our goal -- a WHO that is well-equipped to respond quickly and effectively to any emergency which threatens the lives and health of people anywhere in the world.

Emergency response plans 2017

Nearly 93 million people live in crisis-affected countries. These crises include disease outbreaks, natural disasters and conflict. The crises in each of the countries listed below has had an impact on the delivery of health services, whether or not the crisis is related to a health issue, leaving already vulnerable populations even more at risk.

Funding needs for WHO's core emergency capacity 2016-17

Total requested US$ 118 111 411

WHO’s core emergency capacity encompasses work in support of Member States’ preparedness for emergencies, the Global Health Cluster, organizational readiness for emergency response, information management, policy development and advocacy.

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Impending famine, ongoing fighting and a failing health system leave millions at risk in Yemen

24 April 2017 -- Two years of intense conflict have left 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and placed overwhelming strain on the country’s health system at a time when it is needed most. The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading a reprioritization of the response of more than 66 operational partner organizations, aiming to sustain the remnants of the nation’s health system and ensure access to life-saving health services for the country’s most vulnerable.

Japan and WHO donate essential equipment to South Sudan’s National Blood Transfusion Services

06 March 2017, Juba, South Sudan – The Government of Japan and the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered three all-terrain vehicles for the three regional Blood Transfusion Centres in Juba, Wau and Malakal, at the end of their USD 2 million project for boosting blood donation.

Deploying quality-assured medical teams when disaster strikes

2 February 2017 -- Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) are groups of health professionals (such as doctors, nurses, paramedics) who treat patients affected by an emergency or disaster. They come from governments, charities, non-governmental organizations, militaries and international organizations such as the International Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.
The Australian government has been a big supporter of the EMT initiative from the very beginning, providing both self-sufficient medical teams and funding. They also seconded key personnel to set up the EMT Initiative at WHO.

Bringing life-saving health services to Syria’s most vulnerable

4 April 2017 -- With support from Kuwait WHO is supporting health workers across Syria, including those at Aleppo University Hospitals, to deliver life-saving care to people caught up in the conflict.

WHO has released a report on the Organization's activities in Syria in the third quarter of 2016.

Recent contributions to WHO’s work in humanitarian emergencies*


US$ 200 000 for Niger


US$ 422 889 for Bhutan


US$ 2 946 152 for Ethiopia and Syria

OCHA Common Humanitarian Funds

US$ 3 604 945 for Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan


US$ 250 000 for Nepal

*As in August 2016

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