Escalating conflict and the massive scale of humanitarian needs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region continue to place health care providers at great risk.
Health workers are killed, kidnapped, and assaulted. Health facilities are destroyed, damaged or taken over for non-medical purposes. Ambulances are looted, stolen, shot at and denied travel through checkpoints. Health workers, hospitals, and patients also come under threat due to disruptions to electricity and water supplies, fuel shortages or obstruction of access to besieged populations.
In situations where health care systems are already fragile, threats to health care providers have devastating consequences, going beyond the loss of lives of health workers and the patients they might have saved. Thousands of people every year will die not because they are direct victims, but because the environment becomes too dangerous for effective health care to be delivered.
Documentation is essential to identify violations, create mechanisms for protection and develop the political will to enforce them. Together with partners, WHO is establishing a system for collecting data on attacks on health workers, health facilities, transport, and patients in complex emergencies. This information will be used to identify patterns and find concrete ways to avoid attacks or mitigate disruptions to health care delivery.
Regional Director video message
Regional press releases and statements
Attack targets health facility in Hama, Syria
17 October 2016
WHO condemns attack on Ma’arib Hospital, Yemen
6 April 2016
WHO strongly condemns attack on hospital in Syria
10 February 2016
Insecurity drives health workers out of Yemen
7 January 2016
WHO condemns attack on Al Houban clinic in Taiz, Yemen
7 December 2015
WHO condemns attack on MSF hospital in Yemen
5 November 2015
WHO deplores bombing of MSF clinic in Kunduz
3 October 2015
WHO and UNICEF condemn attacks on health workers in Pakistan
18 December 2012