Policies and Programmes in DRR
The World Health Assembly, the governing body of WHO, 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, radiation safety and chemical safety.
Strategic Objective 5 of WHO’s Medium-Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) for 2008-2013 is: “To reduce the health consequences of emergencies, disasters, crises and conflicts, and minimize their social and economic impact.” The 2012-2013 biennial global work plan plans describe 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.
Looking ahead to 2014-2015, health emergency and disaster risk management is embedded in the proposed category 5: “Preparedness, surveillance and response”. This commitment is described in the references to WHO Reform and the WHO Global Programme of Work at http://www.who.int/about/who_reform/en/index.html
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.
Global programmatic guidance includes the WHO Six-Year Risk Reduction and Emergency Preparedness Strategy for Health Sector and Community Capacity Development which was released in 2007.