Humanitarian Health Action

WHO echoes UN Secretary-General’s call to deliver better for humanity

Two Syrian health workers treat an infant by the light of a mobile phone
WHO Syria

9 February 2016 -- As the international community prepares for the World Humanitarian Summit in May, the World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes a new report from the United Nations Secretary-General calling for the strengthening of humanitarian assistance.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan lauded the report: “Like the Secretary-General, I am concerned about the state of our humanity but inspired by what the international community can achieve when we act together. We must act together now to reshape and reinvigorate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to help our world’s most vulnerable people.”

Five facts on the Syrian crisis and its impact on health

27 January 2016 -- The World Health Organization and its partners remain committed to supporting efforts to respond to the critical health needs of the millions of people affected by the conflict inside and outside of Syria. After almost five years of conflict, the population is more vulnerable than ever, particularly to disease outbreaks and malnutrition. Read five facts on the Syrian crisis and its impact on health.

Libya conflict lingers leaving nearly 2 million in need of health care

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan and WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ala Alwan speak at the briefing on Libya

27 January 2016 – As Libya’s yearlong peace talks aimed at establishing a unity government stall again, the lives of millions of people needing urgent health care linger in the balance. WHO and health partners require a total of US$ 50 million in 2016 to meet the urgent life-saving needs of nearly 2 million people.

Global report on El Niño and health

22 January 2016—WHO and its partners predict a major global increase in health-related emergencies this year due to El Niño. According to a new WHO report, severe drought, flooding, rains and temperature rises are all known effects of El Niño that can lead to food insecurity, malnutrition, disease outbreaks, acute water shortages and disruption of health services.

Recent crises

Reform of WHO’s emergency capacities

WHO is undergoing substantial reform to ensure the Organization's emergency capacities are fit for purpose


Emergency Response Framework (ERF)

ERF is to clarify WHO’s roles and responsibilities and to provide a common approach for its work in emergencies.