By Joyce Ojanji

With a staggering 339 million people needing humanitarian assistance globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched its 2023 health emergency appeal for US$ 2.54 billion.

This is in response to the unprecedented number of intersecting health emergencies like climate change-related disasters such as flooding in Pakistan, food insecurity across the Sahel and in the greater horn of Africa as well as the war in Ukraine. All these emergencies overlap with the health system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks of measles, cholera, and other killers.

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, more people than ever before face the imminent risk of disease and starvation and need help now.

‘’The world cannot look away and hope these crises resolve themselves. I urge donors to be generous and help WHO to save lives, prevent the spread of disease within and across borders, and support communities as they rebuild,” he said.

The organization delivers cost–effective, high-impact responses that protect health, lives, and livelihoods every dollar invested in WHO generates at least US$ 35 in return on investment.

Currently WHO is responding to 54 health crises around the world, 11 of which are classified as Grade 3, WHO’s highest level of emergency, requiring the most comprehensive response.