Occupied Palestinian territory | WHO presence in occupied Palestinian territory

WHO presence in occupied Palestinian territory

The WHO office for the West Bank and Gaza supports the Palestinian Ministry of Health and partners in improving the health and well-being of Palestinians on the road towards universal health coverage and ensuring no-one is left behind.

WHO provides advice to the Ministry of Health to enhance health services that best meet people’s needs, focusing on strong primary health care, to develop and implement the National Health Policy agenda, based on principles of equity and sustainability, to improve preparedness for health emergencies, and advocates for the right to health. WHO is focusing its action on reaching the most vulnerable people in the West Bank and Gaza: newborn children, pregnant and lactating women, trauma patients and those with chronic diseases, including people in need of mental health and psychosocial support.

Responding to the humanitarian health needs is an important WHO’s role as a leading health agency in the oPt in the context of a chronic occupation and increasingly precarious humanitarian crisis.  

WHO works with the Ministry of Health and partners to ensure that all people in need have unimpeded access to quality, timely, life-saving health response that is people-centred and accountable to the affected population.

WHO also promotes a multidisciplinary approach to address social determinants of health, such as water and sanitation, food and nutrition, housing, education and protection.

The WHO office in the occupied Palestinian territory was established in 1994 and to date has some 60 staff working in 3 offices in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza.

Programme areas

The occupied Palestinian territory – WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020

The occupied Palestinian territory –WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2017–2020 sets out how WHO works with the Palestinian Ministry of Health and partners to forge a way forward to improve the health of Palestinians. In coordination with health development partners the strategic agenda for WHO cooperation in Palestine aims to:

contribute to strengthening and building the resilience of the Palestinian national health system and enhance Ministry of Health leadership to progress towards universal health coverage

strengthen the country’s core capacities for the International Health Regulations and the capacities of the Ministry of Health, its partners and the communities in health emergency and disaster risk management to carry out effective humanitarian health response

strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and partners to prevent, manage and control noncommunicable  diseases, including mental health disorders, and risk factors for violence and injuries, with a particular focus on road safety

strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and health partners to advocate with all legal duty-bearers to protect the right to health of the population under occupation, reduce access barriers to health services, and improve the social determinants of health.

Country Cooperation Strategy for WHO and the occupied Palestinian territory 2017-2020

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