Ensuring WHO readiness for emergencies

Ensuring WHO readiness for emergencies

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
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The World Health Organization must be ready to support Member States in saving lives and protecting health when crises strike. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is working with colleagues across the Western Pacific Region and beyond to enhance the Organization's operational readiness.

At all three levels of WHO -- country offices, regional office and headquarters -- the revised Emergency Response Framework (ERF) ensures that the Organization’s response is systematic, predictable and organized. The document outlines the Incident Management System (IMS) structure, including all the critical roles and activities needed for a coordinated and efficient response.

In the Western Pacific, the Emergency Operations Centre in WHO’s Regional Office is a hub for preparedness planning, risk assessment and coordination of response. Open 24/7, the Centre connects people, information and expertise to protect health, serve the vulnerable and keep the Region safe.

WHO’s emergency operations are also backed up by a rosters of experts on standby to be deployed, a stockpile of emergency supplies, contingency funding, and an online toolkit with emergency templates and guidance. Advanced emergency response training is being rolled out for WHO staff across the Region, with a particular focus on country offices.

Key facts

  • In 2017, WHO responded to 25 emergencies in the Western Pacific Region
  • Every WHO country office in the Western Pacific Region has established or is establishing a business continuity plan.