Emergency and humanitarian action

About the EHA Programme

The countries of WHO's South-East Asia Region are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. The magnitude of disasters and their effects have considerable impact on the morbidity and mortality of the Region where 25% of the world’s population reside. Disaster statistics show that Member countries of the Region accounted for 46% of the global total of deaths from disasters in the decade 2001 to 2010.

As such, health action in emergencies is again a vital area of WHO country support. It is with this background on vulnerability that the EHA programme in WHO South-East Asia Region has been conceptualized.

The Emergency and Humanitarian Action (EHA) Programme of WHO's South-East Asia Regional Office together with all of its focal points in all country offices work with the governments as well as development partners towards reducing avoidable morbidity and mortality in emergencies, and minimizing their social and economic impact.

Four Strategic Areas of EHA Programme

To succesfully manage risk and work towards saving lives and reducing suffering in situations of crisis, the EHA programme has developped four strategic areas of work.

  • Risk reduction - a focus on safer health facilities is one of the main focuses of the programme in order to address this key area.
  • Preparedness and response - allignment of WHO institutional preparedness and response capacity with national capacities for preparedness and response. This includes elements such as the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund, the supplies stockpiles in New Delhi and Bangkok, and country office workshops for operational readiness.
  • Information management and research- as a result of the implementation of the SEAR benchmarks for emergency preparedness and response framework, programmes in the countries are guided by information generated from this comprehensive review.
  • Capacity development - through various training programmes and systems support initiatives, the building of local capacity permeates the work of the programme whether it is risk reduction, preparedness or response.

Fact sheets on EHA Programme in South-East Asia Region