The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday 23 January 2023 launched its 2023 health emergency appeal for US$ 2.54 billion to provide assistance to millions of people around the world facing health emergencies. The number of people in need of humanitarian relief has increased by almost a quarter compared to 2022, to a record 339 million.
Currently, WHO is responding to an unprecedented number of intersecting health emergencies: 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 – all of these emergencies overlapping with the health system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks of measles, cholera, and other killers.
“This unprecedented convergence of crises demands an unprecedented response,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “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.”
WHO is currently responding to 54 health crises around the world, 11 of which are classified as Grade 3, WHO’s highest level of emergency, requiring a response at all three levels of the organization. As it is often the case, the most vulnerable are the worst hit.
In 2022, WHO 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. WHO delivers cost-effective, high-impact responses that protect health, lives and livelihoods. Every US$ 1 invested in WHO generates at least US$ 35 in return on investment*.
WHO responds to health emergencies in close collaboration with Member States, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and other partners in the communities and across countries and regions.
The appeal will be launched at an event from WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva, hosted by WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.