Afghanistan + 19 more

WHO: EHA Highlights Issue 2, Aug 2000

News and Press Release
Originally published
New documents published in August and available at EHA:
  • Angola: Update on the Situation of Meningitis in the Country
  • Angola: Epidemic Outbreaks Update
  • Kosovo Health Talks 30 and 31
  • Health Situation Report West Timor
  • Interim Health Policy Guidelines for Kosovo
  • Humanitarian Action and Public Health in Disasters. Allocation of National and International Resources, EHA Paper for the World Congress on Medicine and Health, Hanover 21 July - 20 August
For comments, further information and requests, please contact:
WHO/EHA, External Relations, tel. +41 22 7912707

New contributions and confirmed pledges received in August for WHO emergency activities:

  • Italy: US$ 147,419 for Madagascar
  • Italy: US$ 147,419 for Mozambique
  • The Netherlands: US$ 500,000 for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (pledge 2000/2001, excluding Kosovo)
  • The Netherlands: US$ 1,000,000 for the UN-administered Province of Kosovo (pledge 2000/2001)
  • The Netherlands: US$ 210,100 for the Maluku crisis (pledge)
  • New Zealand: US$ 77,400 for the Maluku crisis (pledge, channelled through UNDP)
  • Norway: US$ 55,800 for North Caucasus (pledge)
  • USA:US$ 1,600,000 for Kosovo
  • USA: US$ 447,000 for North Caucasus
  • USA: US$ 70,500 for the Health Intelligence Network for Advanced Planning (HINAP)
Strengthening Local Laboratories in the Republic of the Congo. WHO, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has just finalised and sent to potential donors a project proposal for strengthening peripheral laboratories in the Republic of the Congo. The proposal aims at countering the crisis of health centers and hospitals in the country, where health structures have been destroyed, laboratory equipment degraded and health personnel killed or obliged to leave. As a result, the diagnostic capacity of the laboratories responsible for epidemiological surveillance has been significantly affected. The objectives of the project, which falls within the framework of the year 2000 UN consolidated appeal process, are to:
  • re-establish the functionality of the laboratories in the reference hospitals;
  • strengthen the technical capacity of the health personnel; and
  • enhance epidemiological surveillance.
The beneficiaries of the project, which has a time framework of 18 months, are the population affected by the conflict and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the coverage area of the reference hospitals, as well as the medical and para-medical personnel in these reference hospitals and health centers. The total requirements for the project are US$ 951,880, of which US$ 433,880 are new "relief to development" needs. The remaining amount is already included in the WHO funding request of the UN transition appeal for the Republic of Congo of June 2000, which has received no support from donors so far.
A French and English version of the project proposal is available at EHA. For information: Khalid Shibib, EHA, tel. +41-22-791.2988,, Isis Pluut, EHA, tel. +41-22-791.2704,

Prompt Response to a Yellow Fever Outbreak in Liberia. Since mid-August, many cases of yellow fever have been reported and confirmed from Mont Cap Grand County in Liberia. The WHO Representative in Liberia, supported by the Regional and Headquarter offices, has launched an appeal for international assistance, which aims at vaccinating the affected and neighbouring counties, as well as training health personnel and strengthening surveillance. 180,000 doses of vaccines and 200,000 auto-destruct syringes and safety boxes arrived in Monrovia on 31 August. Resource mobilisation efforts are now underway also to respond to the request of the WHO Representative in Sierra Leone for 100,000 doses of vaccine to protect the population of the bordering provinces.
For information: Khalid Shibib, EHA, tel. +41 22 7912988, e-mail:


Drought in Central and South Asia Intensifies Its Impact on Health. Central and South Asia, particularly Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan, has been suffering from severe drought for years. The disaster has now spread over Mongolia, northern and western China, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Syria and Jordan, with significant losses of livestock and crops, rapid deterioration of health and sanitary conditions and population displacement. WHO/EHA is coordinating the efforts for health assessment and response in the countries mostly affected. For example, WHO has been part of inter-agency assessment exercises that have resulted in the preparation of an already launched donor alert for Iran and a forthcoming alert for Tajikistan. In addition, WHO sent medical kits to support the health care delivery system in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, while experts have been deployed to support the national Ministries of Health in these countries in assessing the health impact of the drought. In Afghanistan, WHO continues to mobilise donors on the UN drought appeal launched in May and including a WHO component for strengthening disease surveillance, training health personnel and ensuring water quality control. In Pakistan, WHO has also been part of an assessment team and has fielded a medical officer to the drought-affected area to coordinate actions undertaken by other partners.
For information: Khalid Shibib, EHA, +41 22 7912988, e-mail:; on Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: Edouard Kossenko, EHA, tel. +41 22 7912755,

A Cross-Border Strategy for the Horn of Africa. A workshop to address cross-border health issues related to the drought in the Horn of Africa was organized on 17-18 August in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by WHO and the Office for the Regional Humanitarian Coordination (ORHC). The meeting, which was attended by WHO, UNICEF, OHRC and NGO representatives, aimed to share information and reach a common understanding of the impact of the drought on the health situation of the affected populations, with a focus on nomadic populations in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. The discussion concentrated on a number of themes crucial to a regional approach, such as:

  • epidemic outbreaks and population movement;
  • nutritional surveillance and strategies for therapeutic and complementary feeding;
  • upgrading of the quality of drinking water;
  • strengthening of the health service capacity to respond to increased demand;
  • enhancement of the ongoing Horn of Africa Initiative through better coordination;
  • information exchange and feedback.
The WHO component of inter-agency Horn of Africa Appeal, launched in June and dramatically underfunded as of today, needs urgent support for all affected countries. In particular, the regional action plan has only received one contribution from Italy.
A "Compendium of WHO Activities and Requirements Related to the UN Appeal for the Horn of Africa Drought" is available at EHA. For information: Lianne Kuppens, EHA, 7912516, e-mail:

Funding status of WHO emergency programmes in the UN Appeal for the Horn of Africa Drought, as of 31 August 2000:

Horn of Africa Regional Programme: 6.6%

Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda: 0.0%

Ethiopia: 3.2%

Somalia: 15.2%

Eritrea: 18.7%

The mission of the WHO Department of Emergency and Humanitarian Action is to increase, through a concerted effort across WHO, the capacity and self-reliance of countries in the prevention of disasters, preparation for emergencies, mitigation of their health consequences, and the creation of a synergy between emergency action and sustainable development.