International Organizations: World Health Organization

About WHO: The World Health Organization is part of the United Nations health agency. It was founded in April 7, 1948. WHO is administrated and lead by 192 Member States through the World Health Assembly. The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision making body for WHO. They meet every year in May in Geneva. The World Health Assembly is in charge of approving WHO programs, budget, and policies.

The Executive Board is composed of 32 qualified individuals in the health field. They are elected by a Member State of the World Assembly and serve a three-year term. The Executive Board meets at least twice a year. Their main function is to advise and facilitate the effects to the decisions of the Health Assembly.

Countries that are members of the United Nations may become members of World Health Organization. Other countries may join WHO once they have an approval by a majority vote of the World Health Assembly.

WHO’s Goal: Their objective is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Disaster Management: WHO provides disaster and humanitarian assistance domestically and internationally. WHO believes that humanitarian assistance is beneficial to disaster victims and can play an important role in the development of the country if it is properly coordinated and responds to real needs. Currently, they are providing technical support in the Philippines to support the work of the disaster authorities, assist in the consolidation of ongoing assessments, and ensure coordination among all actors.

Collaboration: NGOs and other actors have worked together with WHO to implement health programs at country levels, have made outreach to remote areas and populations possible, advocate public health issues to a broad audience, addressed sensitive issues, and worked in alliance with WHO to raise funds more effectively.

WHO works with NGOs to promote and implement policies, strategies, and activities. They also seek to harmonize inter-sectoral interests among various sectoral bodies concerned in a country, regional or global setting.

Headquarters and Regional Offices: World Health Organization’s headquarters is in Switzerland. They have regional offices throughout the world. WHO has regional offices in Africa, United States, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific. The regional office for the U.S. is located in Washington, D.C.

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822