In 1999, WHO/Europe along with other United Nations agencies launched a consolidated humanitarian appeal to meet the needs of thousands of people fleeing to the North Caucasus.
Over the next six years, WHO/Europe continued as lead agency in the health sector, providing technical and coordination support to health sector, monitoring health and identifying the main health gaps, implementing public health programmes and prioritizing the health needs of the vulnerable to be addressed by humanitarian efforts.
During 2005, and in line with the United Nations humanitarian reform efforts, WHO became the lead agency of the health cluster. The cluster approach is intended to improve the predictability, efficiency and effectiveness of emergency preparedness and humanitarian response capacity.
In 2006, the United Nations agencies developed an inter-agency transitional workplan for the North Caucasus, replacing the previous consolidated humanitarian appeals and emphasizing the shift in assistance from emergency to development. A second transitional workplan was launched for 2007. Within this framework, WHO is continuing its mandate as a lead agency for health sector coordination and provides a technical focal point for public health programmes.
WHO implements projects to strengthen the local health systems through capacity building and public health interventions, particularly for mother and child health, HIV/AIDS, and mental health and psychosocial rehabilitation.
Support for mass gathering events
Sochi Winter Olympics 2014-By invitation of the Sochi city authorities and leading Russian health authorities WHO/Europe and HQ experts have been involved in the preparation of the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014 a roundtable discussion was held on 3 October, 2013 in Sochi. The objective of the roundtable was to discuss with the public health authorities plans for health preparedness for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games and to address some of the health challenges associated with hosting this specific mass gathering and to propose areas of collaboration to share experience acquired in mass gathering health preparedness with other countries.
An action plan is under development and will be shared with the Sochi Olympics authorities.
Kazan city Universidade Olympic games for students- WHO Country office and WHO/Europe worked with local health city authorities in preparation for the Universidade Games by providing technical advice.