Welcome to the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


Humanitarian crises due to armed conflict, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other hazards are a major and growing

contributor to ill-health and vulnerability worldwide. The persisting effects of crises on health and health systems can undermine decades of social development.

Humanitarian crises also present a number of distinct challenges for public health intervention and research. These include: violence and insecurity; mass population displacement; severely deteriorated daily living conditions and impoverishment; the sudden and widespread disruption of health services and the broader health system, including of health surveillance; and reduced domestic availability of human, financial and technical resources alongside increased need to coordinate aid from outside.

Despite these challenges, many staff and students from across the School are actively engaged in public health research in crisis-affected contexts.

How can we improve the public health response in humanitarian crises?

Greater numbers of people are in need of humanitarian health services due to an increasing number of crises occurring worldwide. But adequate, high quality, evidence is lacking to inform humanitarian response teams to ensure they deliver effective interventions. This gap was identified through a 2015 evidence review of research on health interventions in humanitarian crises, authored by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and commissioned by ELHRA’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises Programme (R2HC). Through a series of systematic reviews of the available literature and qualitative interviews with practitioners, policymakers and academics, the predominant gaps and weaknesses in the evidence base for humanitarian public health responses were identified as well as priorities for future research.

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On the move: the race to keep forced migrants healthy

by Meera Senthilingam | Dec 2015
The scene is unlike any other. Thousands of people. Millions in total. All of them on the move. The people? Forced migrants, who move across the unknown in search of solace as they flee the only place they call home. Some are wounded, others ill and many traumatised, but they will not let this stop them from seeking refuge elsewhere as they make this journey towards a safer, better life.

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Contribute to the new edition of the Sphere handbook

You are kindly invited to participate in a survey conducted by the LSHTM and commissioned by the Sphere project and Elrha. This survey targets Sphere users as well as non-users and will inform the revision of the next edition of the Sphere handbook.

Start Survey