WHO in emergencies

10 things you should know about the Syrian crisis

19 January 2017 – WHO has made important strides in its work during the Syrian crisis. A successful negotiation led to the evacuation of patients in critical condition from east Aleppo. Thousands more, fleeing besieged areas, received health care from mobile clinics. As the crisis continues, WHO's work in Syria remains crucial.

WHO
WHO team carrying out measles vaccination campaign at internally displaced people’s camp in Nigeria

Millions of children to receive measles vaccine in north-eastern Nigeria

12 January 2017 – A mass vaccination campaign to protect more than 4 million children against a measles outbreak in conflict-affected states in north-eastern Nigeria is planned to start this week. The two-week campaign, which starts on 13 January, will target all children aged from 6 months to 10 years in accessible areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

WHO/P Ajello
At one of the mobile medical clinics, a doctor examined a patient from eastern Aleppo.

Aid workers share experiences of evacuations from eastern Aleppo, Syria

3 January 2017 – Intensified fighting in eastern Aleppo starting in July 2016 resulted in thousands of people injured and killed, and has deprived the civilian population of essential services, including health care. On 13 December, a plan to evacuate civilians was announced by WHO and partners. The first evacuations from besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo took place 15 December 2016.

Turkey Health Cluster
Ebola vaccine trial

Ebola vaccine provides protection, trial confirms

23 December 2016 – An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial, according to results published today in The Lancet. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year. The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11 841 people in Guinea during 2015.

S. Hawkey

Key numbers on WHO’s work on emergencies in 2016

28 December 2016 – WHO is committed to saving lives and reducing suffering in emergencies – whether caused by conflict, disease outbreak or a disaster. In 2016, Member States approved the establishment of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme to work with countries to address emergencies before they happen, and help respond to an emergency and with early recovery.

A Syrian girl with her doll and packed suitcases, Syria 2016.

WHO calls for urgent resumption of medical evacuations from besieged east Aleppo

16 December 2016 - WHO is calling for medical evacuation of the sick and injured from east Aleppo to be resumed as quickly as possible. Almost 200 patients were safely transferred to hospitals in western rural Aleppo, Idlib and Turkey before all evacuations were aborted this morning, leaving many more in need of medical care stranded.

WHO/O Sanadiki



Where we work

Map showing emergencies around the world that has a WHO grading, 2016.
WHO

WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences. Grading is an internal WHO process that is conducted to inform the Organization of the extent, complexity and duration of required support, prompt all WHO offices at all levels to be ready to repurpose resources and trigger WHO’s Emergency Response Procedures and emergency policies.

How we work

WHO team provides health services in north-eastern Nigeria
WHO/P. Ajello

From prevention through preparedness to early warning, response, and early recovery, the WHO Health Emergencies programme represents a fundamental change for WHO, complementing its traditional technical and normative capacities with new operational capabilities.

Funding

Health crisis in Central African Republic.
WHO/C. Black

WHO would like to thank all of the contributors that provide funding or in-kind contribution for WHO’s work for emergencies. More information about funding requirements and contributions:


Syrian Arab Republic

Crisis in Syrian Arab Republic

WHO continues to support health care services for people in need, especially those living in besieged areas. WHO has continued to focus on lifesaving health interventions while vigorously calling on all parties to the conflict to allow for the immediate and safe evacuation of the sick and wounded from all areas affected by the conflict, including eastern Aleppo. The Organization is also calling for a halt of attacks on health care workers and facilities.

Yemen

Yemen crisis

The escalating conflict, in which an estimated 21.1 million people have been affected, has put more pressure on the health system and the vulnerable population seeking health care. Among many other things, WHO and health partners have provided over 750 million tons of essential medicines and equipment for an estimated 3 million beneficiaries and deployed 50 mobile teams and 20 fixed facility teams to 11 governorates.

Iraq

Iraq crisis

Iraq’s health system is faltering because of the conflict, displacement and disease outbreaks. WHO is leading the response to provide emergency health access people affected by the crises. Health cluster partners have been coordinated, mobilized and supported with critical pharmaceuticals to sustain the response in the country.


Haiti

Haiti Hurricane Matthew 2016

WHO is working with partners and the Government of Haiti to respond to the devastation left behind after Hurricane Matthew struck the south-western part of the country. Medical supplies and medicines are urgently needed to combat cholera, malaria and other diseases.

South Sudan

South Sudan crisis

WHO is leading the response to provide emergency health access to victims of the clashes. Health cluster partners have been coordinated, mobilized and provided support with critical pharmaceuticals to sustain the response in the country.

Nigeria crisis

Humanitarian crisis in Nigeria

WHO is scaling up an emergency response to assess and respond to the health needs of thousands of people in north eastern Nigeria, formerly held by militant insurgency groups. More than half of the health facilities in Borno State, the area most severely affected, are not functioning.


Yellow fever

Yellow fever

WHO is working with the Governments of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to respond to the largest outbreak to date of yellow fever. Vaccination is the key strategy to controlling this outbreak.

Zika virus

Zika virus and complications

WHO is working with countries in mobilizing and coordinating experts and resources to enhance surveillance of Zika virus and disorders that could be linked to it, to improve vector control, to effectively communicate risks, to provide medical care, to fast-track research and development of vaccines and diagnostics.

Ebola outbreak

Ebola outbreak 2014-2015

WHO and partners responded to the Ebola outbreak with a vast array of support: sending medical teams and mobile laboratories, building treatment centres, donating funds and supplies, providing training, deploying specialists in epidemiology, community engagement among many.


MERS-CoV

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

WHO is working with clinicians and scientists in affected countries to gather and share scientific evidence to better understand the virus and the disease it causes, and to determine outbreak response priorities, treatment strategies, and clinical management approaches.

R&D Blueprint

A research and development Blueprint for action to prevent epidemics

The R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan to ensure that targeted R&D can strengthen the emergency response by bringing medical technologies to patients during epidemics.