WHO Health Emergencies | Countries in crisis

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Countries in crisis

Countries in crisis

The Eastern Mediterranean Region is facing an unprecedented scale of emergencies, mainly as a result of political conflict in a number of countries. More than 62 million people affected across the Region are in need of health care as a result.

Almost 30 million displaced people – more than half of all displaced persons globally – originate from the Region. The Region also hosts the highest numbers of children suffering from malnutrition as a result of emergencies.

Already weakened health systems are faced with shortages in health staff, vaccines, medicines and medical supplies. Lack of fuel, power and safe water also contribute to deterioration in the provision of health services.

Conflict in a number of countries in the Region has resulted in increased numbers of trauma care injuries, as well as increased risk of infectious disease outbreaks.

Graded emergencies

Following an escalation of violence in Yemen in March 2015, the crisis was designated a Level 3 emergency by the United Nations in July. This came less than 12 months after the announcement of the crisis in Iraq as a Level 3 emergency in August 2014. The Eastern Mediterranean Region now hosts 3 level 3 emergencies, including the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as a number of long-term protracted emergencies.

Graded emergencies in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (as of 15 May 2016) are as follows:

Grade 3

Grade 2

Grade 1

Protracted

Iraq

Libya

Afghanistan

Somalia

Syria

 

Palestine

Sudan

Yemen

 

Pakistan

 

Grading of all global emergencies

WHO’s grading process

WHO’s grading process for emergencies informs the Organization of the extent, complexity and duration of organizational and or external support required.

The grading of an emergency triggers WHO’s Emergency Response Procedures and emergency policies, and prompts all WHO offices at all levels to repurpose resources in order to provide support.

This internal process ensures that the Organization acts with appropriate urgency and mobilizes the appropriate resources in support of the response of the affected Member State, partners and the WHO country office.

Grade definitions

Grade 1: a single or multiple country event with minimal public health consequences that requires a minimal WHO country office response or a minimal international WHO response. Organizational and/or external support required by the country office is minimal. The provision of support to the WHO country office is coordinated by a focal point in the Regional Office.

Grade 2: a single or multiple country event with moderate public health consequences that requires a moderate country office response and/or moderate international WHO response. Organizational and/or external support required by the country office is moderate. An Emergency Support Team, run out of the Regional Office (the Emergency Support Team is only run out of headquarters if multiple regions are affected), coordinates the provision of support to the country office.

Grade 3: a single or multiple country event with substantial public health consequences that requires a substantial country office response and/or substantial international WHO response. Organizational and/or external support required by the country office is substantial. An Emergency Support Team, run out of the Regional Office, coordinates the provision of support to the country office.

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