Humanitarian Health Action

Questions and answers about WHO's role in Humanitarian Health Action


Which inter-agency mechanisms WHO Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response belongs to?

  • WHO participates in the work of IASC Taskforce on Preparedness and Contingency Planning and is part of the Framework Team to review/prioritize countries/situations of concern. WHO participates in the inter-agency process to revise the 2001 IASC Guidelines on Contingency Planning.

  • WHO Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response department (ERM) is part of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and drafted the health chapter of the United Nations Integrated Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Standards. It can be seen at http://unddr.org/

  • WHO/ERM works with the International Secretariat for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) support the reduction of environmental, human, economic and social losses. WHO aims to mainstream disaster management, incorporating a public health aspect in country resilience to natural hazards and related technological and environmental disasters. WHO also ensures best public health practice in inter-agency disaster assessments and participates in UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams.

  • WHO/ERM is part of the IASC Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery, the UNDG-ECHA Working Group on Transitions and the UNDG Technical Working Group on Somalia. WHO and the IFRC jointly issued a publication entitled Tsunami Relief Impact Assessment and Monitoring.

  • WHO is part of the newly established IASC Task force on Safe Access to Firewood and alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings.

  • WHO co-chairs the IASC Gender Sub-Working Group. WHO drafted the health chapter of the IASC Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action Women, Girls, Boys & Men: Different Needs – Equal Opportunities.

  • WHO/ERM is part of the Geographical Information Support Team (GIST), an inter-agency initiative promoting the use of geographical data standards and geographical information systems in support of humanitarian relief operations.

  • WHO/ERM participates in the inter-agency Contact Group on Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD), a Members States initiative to streamline humanitarian funding.

  • WHO/ERM is part of the IASC Taskforce on HIV/AIDS in emergency settings and promotes the use of the IASC HIV/AIDS Guidelines in Emergency Settings.[pdf 1026 KB],

  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Action. WHO/ERM is part of the newly established IASC Reference Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Action. Products developed by this Group include the Human Rights Guidance Note for Humanitarian Coordinators (2006) and Frequently Asked Questions on International Humanitarian, Human Rights and Refugee Law (2004).

  • In order to further protect persons affected by natural disasters, WHO was part of the IASC process which drew up the IASC Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters. Chapter B.2 provides information about the provision of essential health services.

  • WHO is part of the IASC Information Management Working Group.

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in emergencies. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working Group endorsed the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies.[pdf, 806 KB] WHO co-chair this Taskforce.

  • Through the Consultative Group on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA), HAC is promoting cooperation in countries where resources are scarce.
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