WHO supports Member States’ efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by chronic respiratory disease (CRD) through a range of activities at global, regional and country levels. In collaboration with established partners, WHO develops strategies, guidelines and assessment tools, provides technical advice and training, promotes the exchange of information, and collects and disseminates evidence to support effective action.  The objective is to ensure that effective measures for the prevention and control of CRDs are in place across a range of relevant policy sectors and in the health systems of all countries.

Tobacco-free initiative

Through this initiative, WHO/Europe supports countries in implementing tobacco control measures at all levels of government. It develops tools and evidence-based guidance to support and monitor implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, offers advice and training and promotes exchange and learning across the Region.


This software package was developed by WHO/Europe to assist countries in assessing the health impact of air quality. The assessment includes a life table analysis for determining life years lost from exposure to air pollution.

The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)

GARD is an alliance of national and international organizations, institutions and agencies established in March 2006 to work towards the common goal of improving global lung health. GARD advocates for and facilitates the work of WHO in the area of respiratory health and in line with the WHO global NCD Action Plan. 
Within the WHO European Region, GARD has established country initiatives in Italy, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan, which include workshops, development of advocacy materials, evaluation of air quality, education programmes in schools and training in diagnosis and treatment of CRD. The alliance’s activities have increased cooperation among health authorities, patients’organizations and professional societies and thereby reduced duplication of work and wasted resources. 

Task Force on Health Aspects of Air Pollution

The United Nations Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution is an important  mechanism through which to improve air quality and reduce the health burden of air pollution. Within this Convention, WHO’s European Centre for Environment and Health coordinates the Joint Task Force on the Health Aspects of Air Pollution, which provides information on health effects and promotes the use of the Convention’s instruments.

Assessment of indoor environments

In recent years, WHO/Europe has been supporting Lithuania with a project to assess indoor environments, looking into issues such as thermal comfort, fuel poverty, dampness and mould.