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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

1. Health systems

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health systems as: “all the organizations, institutions and resources that are devoted to producing health actions”. It includes the full range of players engaged in the provision, financing and management of health services, efforts to influence determinants of health as well as providing direct health services, and encompassing all levels: central, regional, district, community and household.

The health system standards of Sphere are organised according to WHO health system framework, consisting of six building blocks: leadership, human resources, drugs and medical supplies, health financing, health information management and service delivery. There are many interconnections and interactions between each of these functions and an action affecting one component can affect the others. These health system building blocks are the functions that are required to deliver essential health services. Health interventions during disaster response should be designed and implemented in a way that contributes to strengthening health systems.