The World Food Programme

A pediatrician examining babies at the WHO-supported medical point in Areeshah camp in rural Al-Hassakah.  ©WHO/Syria/2017

Word Health Organization (WHO)

WHO was launched on 7 April 1948 – a date celebrated as World Health Day every year – with the Syrian Arab Republic as one of WHO’s 194 Member States, and where it established its office in 1985.  WHO works to build a better, healthier future for humankind, as per its constitution which states that: “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”  Working with partners, WHO helps countries combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, puts standards in place to ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink, and the medicines and vaccines they take.  WHO’s country office in Damascus has been supporting health systems and services in Syria for almost 70 years.  It helps all levels of the health sector to strengthen health care services, address priority public health issues and support and promote medical and health research.


As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, more than half the country’s hospitals, clinics and primary health care centers are either closed or only partially functioning.  Millions of people are in need of health assistance. Many hospitals are working at minimum capacity in extraordinarily difficult conditions.  WHO has been working to ensure that affected people are able to obtain basic, essential and life-saving health care.  The Organization has so far delivered millions of treatments, trained tens of thousands of health workers, supported vaccination campaigns and helped rehabilitate dozens of health care facilities.

WHO has 102 staff (98 national and 4 international) with 18 Focal points operating in its Damascus Office and its 4 sub/field offices in the governorates of Aleppo, Latakia, Homs and Al-Qamishli.  WHO has 68 NGO partners.



In July 2012, Elizabeth Hoff was appointed as WHO Representative in Syria.


List of links

List of useful documents/ and links to these documents