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WHO calls for 1 bln USD to support 4 countries in crises

Updated: 2015-02-24 21:53

GENEVA - The World Health Organization on Tuesday called on the international community to provide 1 billion U.S. dollars to support its on-going efforts to help people across the Central African Republic (CAR), Iraq, South Sudan and Syria.

Saying that raging conflict and beleaguered health services are threatening the health of about 21 million people in the four countries, WHO stressed that it will treat, immunize and provide the wide range of life-saving health services there.

The organization made the call at a special session at its Geneva headquarters attended by more than 50 donor countries and other Member States.

WHO classified the emergencies in each of the four countries as being "Grade 3" category crises, which require the highest-level of response that the entire organization can deliver.

According to a WHO press release on Tuesday, among the 21 million people in the major crises, the majority are women and children, whose needs range from basic health care such as childhood vaccinations to surgical care for severely wounded patients caught up in the conflicts.

"In Iraq and CAR, for example, around one-quarter of hospitals,

clinics and other health facilities have been damaged in their respective conflicts, or are not functioning." DR Bruce Aylward, a special representative of WHO, said.

According to the representative, despite all the great challenges, WHO is well placed to lead the delivery of required health care in these major emergencies.

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