WHO supports countries to prepare for, detect and respond to health emergencies of all kinds, ranging from disease outbreaks to conflicts to natural disasters.

No organization can do this alone. WHO relies on partners through networks, such as the Global Health Cluster, Standby Partners, Emergency Medical Teams and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

WHO also works closely with Member States, international partners, and local institutions to help communities prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies, disasters and crises.

We are committed to:

  • Saving lives and reducing suffering in times of crises
  • Building efficient partnerships for emergency management and ensuring these are properly coordinated
  • Advocating for political support and consistent resources for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery
  • Developing evidence-based guidelines for all phases of emergency work in the health sector
  • Strengthening capacity and resilience of health systems and countries to mitigate and manage disasters
  • Ensuring international capacity is available to support countries for emergency response through training and establishment of surge capacity.


Global Health Cluster

Effective response to the world’s health crises would be impossible without the coordinated teamwork of the Global Health Cluster. Over 900 partners combine their technical and operational abilities to support the national health response in crisis-affected countries to ensure that people in need receive essential health care.

Standby Partnerships

In emergencies, extra personnel must quickly be in place to support WHO’s work. Through Standby Partners, WHO rapidly mobilizes qualified and experienced professionals to respond to the health consequences of acute and protracted emergencies and disease outbreaks.

Emergency medical teams

In cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and with host-country health ministries, WHO helps to select and guide the work of emergency medical teams providing clinical care in the wake of emergencies.

Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network

During public health emergencies, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) ensures that the right technical expertise and skills are on the ground where and when they are needed most.

Partner types