15 January 2013 – In light of the continuing crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic and its impact on neighbouring countries, WHO is establishing an emergency support team to provide technical and operational support to its offices in the Syrian Arab Republic and the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey.
As outlined in WHO’s Emergency Response Framework, the emergency support team will provide a consolidated, dedicated response to the crisis at the regional level by reinforcing WHO’s four critical functions: 1) coordination; 2) information; 3) technical expertise; and 4) core services.
The emergency support team will scale up and coordinate dedicated day-to-day back up of technical and operational support to country offices. However, country offices will continue to remain responsible for directing and managing operations in close collaboration with national and local health authorities, as well as with relevant in-country UN partners.
The establishment of the support team is in line with the request of Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to Heads of UN agencies in December 2012 to establish regional support hubs in Amman.
Hosted by WHO’s office in Amman, the team will comprise international experts in public health, epidemiology, information management and logistical support. It will be operational for 3 months starting 12 January 2013, after which time its function will be reviewed for the possibility of an extension.