WHO in emergencies

Statement on the meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

12 February 2020 - It was the unanimous view of the Emergency Committee that Ebola virus disease outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The Committee acknowledged the revised risk assessment, which puts the risk now as high at national and regional levels, and low at the global level.

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Journey to recovery: Yemeni patients get new lease on life in Jordan

9 February 2020 --A plane carrying Yemeni civilians who need medical treatment abroad landed in Jordan yesterday. The flight is the second to arrive this week as part of the United Nations/WHO medical airbridge operation.


South Sudan launches a nationwide campaign to protect 2.5 million children against measles

4 February 2020, Juba – With the aim of vaccinating 2.5 million children against measles, a nationwide vaccination campaign is kicked off today. The campaign is a cooperation between the Ministry of Health, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other partners. In addition to the vaccine, the children will also receive vitamin A supplement and deworming tablets.

Joint statement by UN Special Envoy for Yemen, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and World Health Organization in Yemen on UN medical air bridge flights

3 February 2020, Sana’a/Amman — The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande and the World Health Organization Representative for Yemen, Altaf Musani, welcomed today the launch of the medical air bridge operation that brought the first group of Yemeni patients in need of specialized medical assistance from Yemen to Jordan.

Measles vaccination

WHO, China leaders discuss next steps in battle against coronavirus outbreak

28 January 2020 -- The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today met President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. They shared the latest information on the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) outbreak and reiterated their commitment to bring it under control.

WHO/Eugene Kabambi

Improving access to specialized health services for people with physical disability in Iraq

26 January 2020 – Five years of conflict in Iraq has taken a huge toll on more than 5 million Iraqis who, at one point in time, have had to leave their areas of origin to move to safer places in the country. As many as half a million civilians have incurred some level of injury while thousands have lost limbs.

Outbreaks and crises

Map showing emergencies around the world that has a WHO grading, 2016.

WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences.


Health crisis in Central African Republic.
WHO/C. Black

WHO thanks all of the contributors that provide funding or in-kind contribution for WHO’s work for emergencies.


WHO coordinates the international health response to emergencies and humanitarian crises, but we cannot do this work without our partners who help us deliver health services in even the most difficult situations.

Behind the headlines

At any one time, dozens of infectious disease outbreaks are happening around the world. In this special feature, we visit a series of recent health emergencies, telling the stories behind the headlines and exploring the many different dimensions of an outbreak response.

R&D Blueprint

Illustration of lab equipment.

The R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan to ensure that targeted R&D can strengthen the emergency response by bringing medical technologies to patients during epidemics.


WHO training on personal protective equipment during the Ebola outbreak in Guinea

The Director-General has established an Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC), to provide oversight and monitoring of the development and performance of the Programme and to guide the Programme’s activities.



Each issue of the Health Emergency Highlights contains information on the current humanitarian context, the health priorities and response operations