WHO working with UN agencies on flood response in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

UN agency representatives joined government officials in Skopje in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia last week to coordinate response efforts to the floods that have affected a large part of the country. The meeting focused on identifying necessary measures to address immediate public health needs. Although national authorities have not declared the situation a crisis, damage from the flooding has left a large part of the population without access to safe drinking water, and an immediate public health response is essential to keep the situation under control.

Following a visit with government officials to the affected areas, WHO highlighted major tasks to focus on, primarily ensuring access to safe drinking water, outbreak prevention, and safeguarding clean-up workers from infection. WHO on-site monitors are working side-by-side with government agencies to address these public health concerns by assuring supply and distribution of chlorine tablets, providing reproductive health kits and hygiene necessities, and disseminating information to the general public about maintaining health security. WHO is also providing technical expertise to government agencies coordinating clean-up efforts to protect workers from exposure to infection.

Rapid and ongoing response by authorities remains essential as new flooding was expected over the weekend. WHO will continue to work closely with government officials and other UN agencies as the situation unfolds to minimize any negative public health consequences.