WHO’s work with countries

What WHO does in countries


WHO has dedicated staff working in 149 field offices, as well as support from 6 regional offices. They advise ministries of health on technical issues and provide assistance in scaling up essential prevention, treatment and care services throughout the health sector. With other players including United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations and affected communities, staff help plan, implement and monitor programmes. Country teams also support advocacy and resource mobilization efforts.

To improve the health of populations in countries, the Organization works together with governments and a variety of nongovernmental organizations, civil society, academic institutions, agencies, foundations, and representatives of the private sector.

The functions of WHO

Chart of WHO core functions, 2014.

More than 50% of WHO staff work in country offices. Together, they work to achieve the diverse functions of WHO.

View the chart of WHO core functions

Countries helping countries

WHO connects countries together to pursue solutions to common challenges. To sustain and expand cooperation, the Organization acts as a knowledge broker. It facilitates exchanges among countries and builds capacity, enabling exchanges to be driven primarily by countries themselves.

Cooperation among countries

Cooperation among countries can be an effective tool to strengthen, share and accelerate health development within countries and across regions.

South-South and triangular cooperation

This refers to the exchange of expertise in developing nations. In the health sector, it promotes equitable inter-country and inter-regional development, and combats common health sector challenges.

Cooperation among BRICS countries

WHO has adjusted its cooperation in and with BRICS to accommodate the specific needs, priorities and capacities of these countries.

Health cooperation in Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities.


Department of Country Cooperation and Collaboration with the United Nations System (CCU)
World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland