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World Health Organization launches $2.54bn emergency health appeal

The organisation is currently responding to 54 health crises across the world

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a funding appeal for $2.54bn to provide assistance to those facing health emergencies around the world.

The emergency health appeal comes as the number of people in need of humanitarian relief has increased to a record 339 million – up by almost a quarter from 2022 figures – with WHO saying that it is currently responding to an ‘unprecedented’ number of intersecting health emergencies.

Included in this are climate change-related disasters such as flooding in Pakistan and food insecurity across the Sahel and in the greater Horn of Africa, the war in Ukraine and the health impact of conflict in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and northern Ethiopia.

These emergencies are also coinciding with the health system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as outbreaks of illnesses such as measles and cholera.

“This unprecedented convergence of crises demands an unprecedented response,” said WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“More people than ever before face the imminent risk of disease and starvation and need help now. The world cannot look away and hope these crises resolve themselves. I urge donors to be generous and help WHO to save lives, prevent the spread of disease within and across borders, and support communities as they rebuild," Ghebreyesus added.

WHO is currently responding to 54 health crises across the world, eleven of which are classified as grade 3 – the organisation’s highest level of response – and require a major response.

Speaking at the event from WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, when the launch of the appeal was announced, Ghebreyesus referenced the organisation’s “first consolidated” health emergency appeal last year.

To help protect those around the world from urgent emergency and humanitarian health needs, including the COVID-19 response, WHO asked for $2.7bn in 2022.

“Thanks to the generous support of donors, we were able to respond to many health emergencies,” Ghebreyesus said, citing outbreaks of ebola in Uganda, cholera in 31 countries and m-pox around the world.

In a statement, WHO outlined that in 2022 it ‘provided medicines, other supplies, training for doctors and other health workers, vaccines, enhanced disease surveillance, mobile clinics, mental health support, maternal health consultations and much more’.

Article by
Emily Kimber

24th January 2023

From: Healthcare

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