Geneva, 24 January 2023 (TDI): The World Health Organization, (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for international public health, launched Health Emergency Appeal 2023.

The aim of the emergency appeal is to seek $2.5 billion to counter health emergencies like Pakistan’s floods.

In the report, WHO described that the number of people in need of humanitarian relief has increased by almost a quarter compared to 2022, to a record 339 million.

Overview of the Emergency Appeal

According to WHO, the UN agency is already working on an “unprecedented” number of emergencies. These include the fall-out of devastating flooding in Pakistan, to catastrophic food insecurity across the greater Horn of Africa.

Also read: UN report uses Pakistan flood to foreshadow future catastrophes

The agency is also heavily involved in reducing suffering in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion. It is still working in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and northern Ethiopia, where conflict, COVID-19, and climate change have all threatened healthcare access.

In 2022, the WHO’s assistance to communities included medicines and other critical supplies, training for health professionals, vaccines, improved disease surveillance, mobile clinics, mental health support, maternal health consultations, and more.

“WHO provides cost-effective, high-impact responses that protect health, lives, and livelihoods. Every dollar invested in WHO yields at least a $35 return on investment.” The organization emphasized.

According to the WHO’s website, the agency is currently responding to 54 health crises worldwide, 11 of which are classified as Grade 3, WHO’s highest level of emergency, requiring a response at all three levels of the organization.

The appeal will be launched at an upcoming event from WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva, hosted by WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Remarks by the Director-General of WHO

Following the release of the emergency appeal, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General also released a statement.

He said, “This unprecedented convergence of crises demands an unprecedented response. 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  help WHO to save lives, prevent the spread of disease & support communities as they rebuild.” Ghebreyesus concluded.