Humanitarian Health Action

As Syria’s armed conflict grows, WHO aid to the region is unrelenting

A child receives polio vaccine in a refugee camp, Al-Hassake, Syrian Arab Republic
WHO Syria

23 September 2015 -- Since armed unrest erupted more than 4 years ago in Syria, resulting in huge movements of the population inside the country and spilling into neighboring countries, WHO has taken a lead role – one that continues in the face of crippling funding shortfalls - to support the displaced. WHO staff have been working to ensure that: life-saving medicines and medical supplies reach Syrians and the region’s host populations and governments; technical assistance is given to the region’s ministries of health, with health care workers being trained; mass vaccination campaigns are supported; and the ability to monitor outbreaks of communicable diseases is boosted.

WHO Grade 3 emergency

WHO responds to increasing health needs in Yemen as health facilities continue to shut down

Sana’a, 22 September 2015 — WHO is delivering extensive health support in response to the crisis in Yemen, providing almost 200 tonnes of critical medical supplies and more than 745 000 liters of fuel to keep health services operational amidst intensifying fighting. Yemen’s 6-month conflict has left thousands of people in need of treatment, caused extensive damage to health facilities, and fanned a dengue fever outbreak. WHO warns that the numbers of people needing health care are likely to increase. Numerous health facilities are on the verge of collapsing under the weight of the conflict.

Cuba, Sierra Leone and the spirit of South-South cooperation

Dr Felix Sarria Baez, Cuban doctor, Ebola survivor and health hero wears a blue WHO t-shirt and stands in front of a building which is flying a Cuban flag.
WHO/Stephane Saporito

11 September 2015 -- Dr Felix Sarria Baez is one of hundreds of Cuban doctors who have supported the Ebola response in West Africa. While working there, he contracted Ebola himself. He survived and returned to Sierra Leone to further help Ebola patients. As part of our #ThanksHealthHero campaign, and in celebration of the International Day for South-South Cooperation on 12 September, we’re re-posting his story.

WHO Grade 3 emergency

Health services shut down as funding shortfall cripples humanitarian operations in Iraq

4 August 2015 – A severe funding shortfall has led to the closure of 84% of health programmes supported by humanitarian partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), in Iraq, leaving almost 3 million people without access to urgently needed heath care 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.