Humanitarian Health Action

Nigeria WHO Grade 3 emergency

WHO teams assist people in hard-to-reach areas of Nigeria

February 2017 -- Medical teams supported by WHO set up mobile clinics in hard to access areas of north-eastern Nigeria. The teams are called “hard-to-reach” teams (HTR) because their mission is to reach remote and insecure areas to provide urgently needed care to populations deprived of essential health services. The 8-year conflict has caused widespread forced displacement and acute food and nutrition insecurity. Large areas of Borno state, the most-affected state, remain inaccessible to humanitarian assistance.

WHO Grade 2 emergency

Yemeni health system crumbles as millions risk malnutrition and diseases

Al-Olofi Hospital in Al-Hudaydah

23 February 2017, Al-Hudaydah, Yemen - “Hospital staff have not received their salaries for the past 5 months. There are acute shortages of certain medicines and we need more fuel to ensure the hospital has electricity,” says Dr Khaled Suhail, Director of Al-Tharwa Hospital in Yemen’s third largest city, Al-Hudaydah. With more than 1200 employees and 320 beds, Al-Thawra Hospital is the main functioning health facility in Al-Hudaydah and neighbouring governorates.

WHO Grade 2 emergency

Somalia: Between malnutrition and death, there is disease

23 February 2017 -- Somalia is on the brink of famine. An immediate scale-up of the drought response is required to prevent the worst-case scenario. It is not a lack of food alone that causes malnourished children to die, but rather the illnesses they contract as a result of their weakened immune systems. In Somalia right now, a lack of clean water, exacerbated by drought, is contributing to an increased risk of communicable diseases. Nearly 5.5 million people in Somalia are at risk of acquiring cholera, with more than 4000 cases of acute watery diarrhoea already reported in 2017 (as of 5 February).

WHO Grade 3 emergency

Iraq: Urgently needed medicines and medical supplies delivered to east Mosul

Erbil 15 February 2017 - The World Health Organization (WHO) has responded to an acute shortage of medical supplies in the newly retaken areas of Mosul by delivering medicines and other medical supplies to 16 primary health centers, one hospital and the Directorate of Health (DOH) in Ninewa. The donation will support treatment of patients with infectious diseases, chronic conditions, diarrheal diseases and trauma cases who have been deprived of medical care.

Recent crises

WHO Emergency Response Plans 2017

Partnerships in emergencies

Working with partners in health emergencies

WHO operates in more than 40 countries dealing with humanitarian health emergencies of all kinds ranging from disease outbreaks to conflicts to natural disasters. WHO relies on partners through networks, such as:

Health Emergency Highlights

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Reform of WHO's emergency capacities

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

EWARS: a simple, robust system to detect disease outbreaks

Disease surveillance, alert and response system in emergencies.


Emergency Response Framework (ERF)

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