Editorial The volume of work of WHO in health action in crises has quadrupled in two biennia, reaching US$ 500 million during the period 2008–2009. This sum includes core technical activities for carrying out this type of work across the three levels of the Organization as well as ad hoc operational activities related to emergency and humanitarian action implemented at national and sub national level. However, whereas funding support for field activities is growing, funding for support activities, or “backstopping” activities, at global and regional level is increasingly difficult to obtain.
HAC activities in countries
Libya: bolstering health care in case of a major humanitarian crisis The crisis in Libya shows no sign of abating. WHO urgently dispatched supplies from stocks in Norway and the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy. Preparing for the possibility of a major humanitarian crisis, WHO has placed staff on stand by for rapid deployment and begun sending support staff from headquarters to the Regional Office in Cairo.
Yemen: maintaining health care for displaced populations Over the past years, repeated internal conflicts and clashes have disrupted the provision of basic services, including health care services. Under the leadership of WHO, Health Cluster partners in the north are providing health care to affected populations: 100% of the people living in camps have access to primary health care services. The coverage outside the camps remains lower due to poor access.
The occupied Palestinian territory: providing health care despite the lack of a stable environment The situation remains characterized by years of occupation, political stalemate, violence, restrictions on access and movement and persistent human rights violations. The health system in Gaza is affected by the blockade and by the political divide with the West Bank. WHO supports the Palestinian Ministry of Health to strengthen the health system, which, despite these challenges, is relatively well developed and able to provide a full range of health services to the population.
Update on HAC and resource mobilization at the global level Both the financial resources and the implementation rate for WHO’s emergency work have increased over the past biennia. The funds received for WHO’s emergency work represent 12% of WHO’s approved budget. The implementation rate has risen from 67% to 82% between 2006–2007 and 2008–2009. However, budgets for core programmes have dropped from US$ 26 million for 2008–2009 to US$ 17 million for 2010–2011. It is expected that major funding shortfalls will continue.
GHC position paper – civil-military coordination during humanitarian health action The Global Health Cluster’s latest position paper addresses coordination between civilian humanitarian actors and official, internationally deployed military actors involved in crisis response work. It may also serve to guide humanitarian health actors that are coordinating with national militaries within their own borders and with civil defence and civil protection units.
Operational Platform Report for 2010 In 2010, HAC’s continued to strengthen WHO’s work in emergency by expanding the pre-positioning of medical supplies, deploying staff to countries in crisis, procuring and improving the quality of supplies equipment and supplies, providing logistics and operational support to regional and country offices, and improving collaboration with IASC partners.
Health at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, 8-13 May 2011 The 3rd session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be conducted in Geneva from 8-13 May 2011. The Global Platform is the world’s foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations. Health issues will be addressed in a number of sessions organized by WHO and partners throughout the Platform.