Thailand is no stranger to national and human
induced disasters. In recent years, Thailand has faced serious
challenges that arise from flooding, the 2004 tsunami, drought, landslides,
earthquakes, epidemics, and social/political unrest.
In 2011, massive
flooding led to more than 800 casualties across Thailand and affected more than 14
million people. Similarly, the Asian tsunami of December 2004 caused 8,345
deaths, affected 67,007, and resulted in an economic loss of one billion USD
to the country.
In 2010, WHO and the
Royal Thai Government (RTG) identified disaster risk management as a priority
area for the period of 2012 to 2017. A joint WHO-RTG collaborative programme was consequently established on disaster risk
management. The programme focuses on mitigating
risk, establishing a public health emergency management system, and enhancing
capacity in Thailand
to respond to disasters in a coordinated and effective manner.
Under the WHO-RTG programme, WHO works closely with the Emergency Medical
Institute of Thailand (EMIT), the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Thai Red Cross Society, UN agencies, civil
society organizations, academic institutions, and other key
WHO remains committed
to lead international and national responses to the health component of
emergencies through the “health cluster” approach.
This approach unites diverse skills and capacities from various stakeholders.
In doing so, WHO can provide support effective and efficient ways to
coordinate humanitarian efforts in emergency settings.