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World Health Organization (WHO)

  • By: Vener Garayev & Kasim Karagoz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Established on April 7, 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) international organization, the main purpose of which is to direct and coordinate health-related issues within the UN system. The agency provides leadership on global health-related issues, sets international standards and norms, provides evidence-based health policies and direction for health research, and provides technical support to member countries along with monitoring and evaluation of global health issues.

The agency's perspective is that health has become a shared responsibility requiring collective action of member countries with the main focus to provide basic healthcare to all. WHO has 147 country offices, six regional offices, and headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The governing body of WHO is the World Health Assembly.

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