Policies and Programmes in DRR
The World Health Assembly (WHA), the supreme governing body of WHO decided at its 69th Session to welcome the progress made in the development of the new Health Emergencies Programme, the elaboration of an implementation plan and timeline for the new Programme, and the establishment of the Emergencies Oversight and Advisory Committee (WHA69.9).
The WHA adopted WHA Resolution (WHA64.10) on “Strengthening national and community health emergency and disaster management capacity and resilience of health systems” in May 2011. Resolutions have been passed by every WHO Regional Committee over the past 20 years to reinforce the mandate given to WHO and to strengthen capacities of Member States.
The commitment of Member States and WHO for health emergency and disaster risk management is expressed in various international agreements, frameworks and resolutions for specific hazards and areas of public health, such as the International Health Regulations (2005), mental health, disability, food safety, non-communicable diseases, environmental health, climate change and health, radiation safety and chemical safety.
Strategic Objective 12 for the Organization-wide Programme area Country Health Emergency Preparedness & International Health Regulations in WHO’s 2016-2017 biennial global work plan has two outputs that focus on WHO activities to support countries in the areas of health sector risk reduction, including emergency preparedness, and to build institutional capacity in WHO for emergency preparedness and response, as follows: 12.2.1: Monitor, evaluate and objectively assess country core capacities; and 12.2.2: Assist countries to develop national plans and critical core capacities for all-hazard health emergency preparedness, readiness and disaster risk management for health.
In 2016, the 68th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas - 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization - approved the Plan of Action for Disaster Risk Reduction 2016-2021 (CD55/17, Rev. 1), that recognized the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Agenda for Humanity, as well as the reform of the response capacity of the World Health Organization (WHO) in outbreaks and emergencies.
In 2014, the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific adopted the Western Pacific Regional Framework for Disaster Risk Management for Health (RC65/9).
In 2012, the Regional Committee for Africa adopted a resolution (AFR/RC62/R1) to establish a Disaster Risk Management: A Health Sector Strategy for the African Region in order to institutionalize disaster risk management in the health sector, focusing on preparedness for, and response to emergencies and post-emergency recovery. AFRO has developed and applied several tools for Disaster Risk Management for Health (DRM-H) including guidelines for conducting Capacity Assessments, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Mapping (VRAM) and a training curriculum framework.