Humanitarian Health Action

WHO scales up response to humanitarian crisis in Nigeria

22 AUGUST 2016 | GENEVA - A WHO emergency health team arrived 19 August 2016 in Maiduguri city to assess and respond to the health needs of 800 000 people in north eastern Nigeria, formerly held by militant insurgency groups. WHO is scaling up its emergency response activities, together with partners, to assist hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need of health services. More than half of the health facilities in Borno State, the area most severely affected, are not functioning.

World Humanitarian Day 2016

19 August 2016 -- Today, the scale of human suffering is greater than at any time since the Second World War. As a result of conflict and disaster, more than 130 million people around the world need humanitarian assistance in order to survive. Together, they would form the tenth most populous country on Earth. .

Underneath these staggering statistics are real lives and real people. They are people who face relentless shelling in their homes, parents who put their children to bed hungry every night, families ripped apart by war and disaster, unable to access medical care and displaced for years on end.

South Sudan health crisis worsens as more partners pull out and number of displaced rises

August 2016 -- The recent escalation of the conflict in South Sudan has forced many people to flee, including those that were supporting the health response. Preventable and curable diseases, such as malaria and acute watery diarrhoea, are major causes of death among the growing number of internally displaced persons in the country. Many people do not have access to adequate shelter, which may increase rates of malaria and upper respiratory infections, while the ongoing rainy season is increasing the risk of water-borne diseases, such as cholera.

Health care increasingly out of reach for Syrians in eastern Aleppo City

The humanitarian and health situation in Aleppo has reached critical levels

5 August 2016 – Dr Hatem Abu Yazan, general director of the Children’s Specialised Hospital in Al Shaa’ar in eastern Aleppo City, was on duty in the hospital’s neonatal section on the first floor when he heard the sound of an airstrike. It was a sound that he was used to, and he was wearing his stethoscope which dulled the noise. He did not pay much attention until he saw the doors cave in and the windows break. Together with a nurse and another doctor, he lifted 9 babies from their incubators and carried them to the basement, where he knew they would be safer. “We waited for 10 minutes for the attack to subside, and then we ran back up to bring the incubators down to the basement, so that they would not be at risk in case of another attack.

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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


Emergency Response Framework (ERF)

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