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World Health Organization

World Health Organization


Founded in 1948, World Health Organization (WHO) is mandated to prevent and eradicate epidemics and to improve the nutritional, sanitary, hygienic and environmental conditions of people around the world.

In 1997, in an effort to increase cooperation, UNHCR and WHO agreed on a series of shared objectives relating to refugees, returnees and, where appropriate, internally displaced persons.

They include reducing the mortality, disease, and disability rates among refugees; providing refugees with adequate, timely, and cost effective health services; co-ordinating health and nutritional policies to achieve globally accepted standards; and helping returnees to reintegrate into their local communities.

In addition, the two UN agencies agreed to anticipate and address the health needs of refugees both at the national and international level by working closely with non-governmental organizations and other groups.

WHO also sends doctors and other health professionals to UNHCR operations and supports the refugee agency, governments, and other institutions in the co-ordination of humanitarian health programmes. The two organizations jointly consult with host governments and donors to determine health measures for beneficiaries within the context of ongoing national development efforts.