The year 2006 saw major developments in the emergency and humanitarian arena. Rarely has health and humanitarian action been so high on the international agenda. In St Petersburg in July 2006, G8 Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the importance of the coordinating role played by the United Nations in emergency and humanitarian operations, and pledged to further enhance the UN's effectiveness. G8 leaders explicitly recognized the central importance of health in emergencies and welcomed WHO's efforts in strengthening its operational capacity in crises. They also declared their support for emergency preparedness programmes to help the health sector meet the challenges posed by emergencies. This document describes WHO's emergency activities throughout 2006. They range from major relief operations in Lebanon to humanitarian programmes in underreported complex emergencies. WHO has 60 emergency field staff stationed in 42 countries, ready and able to respond whenever and wherever crises occur. This expansion in WHO's emergency capacity was possible largely thanks to generous funding from donors - DFID, ECHO, Sida, and others - of the Three Year Programme to Enhance WHO's Performance in Crises (TYP).
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