Health priorities in the appeals for the crises in the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries
The United Nations and its partners have dramatically increased their 2013 humanitarian appeal for the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries to approximately US$4.4 billion. Health requirements in this appeal amount to US$177 million for the Syrian Arab Republic, representing 12% of the total, and US$242 million for neighbouring countries, representing 19% of the total. The health aspects of the two appeals are restricted to priority life-saving health needs and medicines, and by no means aim to cover all that is needed for comprehensive health care. Within Syria, the health system has been severely disrupted. More than half of the country’s public hospitals have been affected by the conflict, with 20% damaged and 37% no longer functioning at all. Hospitals that continue to operate are heavily overburdened.
Crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic
5 June 2013 - WHO and health partners are expanding the existing disease early warning system inside the Syrian Arab Republic and establishing similar systems in all countries affected by the crisis in order to detect and rapidly respond to potential epidemics, especially during the coming summer months. Additional activities planned with partners include training of first-line responders, pre-positioning medicines and medical supplies, and ensuring sufficient laboratory capacity to identify infectious diseases, and implementing a summer outbreak containment plan. WHO is deeply concerned about the increasing cases of communicable diseases inside the Syrian Arab Republic and among displaced Syrians in neighbouring countries.
Civil unrest leads to widespread looting of healthcare facilities in the Central African Republic
The protracted armed conflict in the Central African Republic has intensified since December and culminated in a coup d'etat on 24 March. Due to the insecurity since the Séléka armed coalition took control of the capital, healthcare delivery to the general population of Bangui is heavily affected. There have been reports of widespread looting of healthcare facilities, warehouses and offices (including WHO). WHO has internally classified the situation in the Central African Republic as a Grade 2 emergency due to the consequences of the civil unrest.
Challenges facing the Malian health system
There has been improved access in the central regions of Mali, while in the north humanitarian activities continue to be restricted by the threat of mines, violence and on‐going military operations. A major challenge facing the Malian health system is the disruption of the health and sanitation structure in the north of the country as a consequence of the armed conflict. A joint assessment of health actors at the beginning of the crisis concluded that only 10% of the health structures in the north of the country are functional. Functioning health structures, both in the northern and southern parts of the country are overwhelmed with the increasing health needs of local and displaced populations.