Global Appeal 2024

Healthy lives

Outcome Area 10

A women carrying a child at the clinic
Esparance Muhimpundu, a Burundian refugee, holds her child during a malaria test at the temporary clinic at the Kalobeyei Reception Centre in Kenya, where UNHCR and partners are actively promoting malaria awareness and malaria prevention measures such as bed nets, sanitation and timely medical assistance.
© UNHCR/Pauline Omagwa
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Global needs in 2024

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Access to primary and secondary health care is a major challenge for forcibly displaced and stateless people. Many countries have fragile health systems and many do not include refugees in national health insurance schemes. Refugees are often charged for public services and especially hospital level care may be unaffordable.

In 2023, the UNHCR health information system noted several worrying trends, including increasing child mortality, a drop in vaccination coverage amongst children, increasing reports of malaria, dengue and cholera, a higher prevalence of malnutrition and a greater need for mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS).

In middle-income countries, more and more refugees are living outside of camp settings, increasing the need for their inclusion in public health systems, ensuring universal health coverage.

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Global needs for Healthy lives in 2024

$590 million

+4% vs 2023 current budget

Regional needs 


Global needs OA10

Top ten operational budgets for Healthy lives (USD millions)  


Top ten OA10
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How UNHCR will make a difference

In 2024, UNHCR will invest to maintain and improve forcibly displaced and stateless people’s health care in 95 countries. UNHCR will work with governments and partners towards greater and sustainable inclusion of refugees in national health systems, supporting them with evidence and advocacy, including through the Group of Friends of Health for Refugees and Host Communities.

UNHCR will support forcibly displaced and stateless people’s access to essential health services to meet their health needs and reduce morbidity and mortality, and will support the provision of quality essential medicines to address gaps. Enhancing prevention and access to care and treatment for communicable diseases will be a priority for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 and ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030.

Childhood vaccination is a priority, considering fragile post-COVID health systems. UNHCR will enhance efforts to reach under-immunized children and to strengthen community-based approaches, working towards a harmonized refugee community health workforce that is empowered to lead promotive and preventive health interventions.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, for example, UNHCR will work with national and local health authorities and partners to reinforce last mile childhood immunization, aiming to increase the childhood measles vaccination coverage from 64% in both countries to over 90% and 85% respectively.


Core indicators


Proportion of children aged 9 months to five years who have received measles vaccination

Health Worker

Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel

A sample of core outcome indicators

10.1 Proportion of children aged 9 months to five years who have received measles vaccination

Country Population Type Baseline Target 2023 Target 2024
Democratic Republic of the Congo Refugees and Asylum-seekers 64% 90% 92%
South Sudan Refugees and Asylum-seekers 64% 80% 85%
Sudan Refugees and Asylum-seekers 76% 80% 88%
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UNHCR will further enhance the capacity of field staff to implement high-quality, evidence-based sexual and reproductive health programming, in collaboration with UNFPA, WHO and partners. A blended learning course will be developed to equip UNHCR public health staff to prepare for and lead an evidence-based public health response during emergencies. UNHCR is also accelerating interagency action and coordination on HIV in humanitarian settings, including co-investing with UNAIDS and WFP in a global HIV advisor post.

UNHCR’s private sector engagement aims to support host governments and health systems to improve noncommunicable disease (NCD) care for refugees and host communities. UNHCR will collaborate with WHO and partners to advocate for NCD work in humanitarian settings.

The consolidation of MHPSS within UNHCR’s multi-sectoral programming, guided by the interagency “Minimum service package” for MHPSS, is expected to lead to stronger mental health services within general healthcare.

UNHCR will also step up its efforts to facilitate equitable access to rehabilitation and assistive technology for forcibly displaced persons.

UNHCR will work with partners to strengthen the prevention and treatment of all forms of malnutrition through community and facility-based activities, monitoring the impact via the standardized expanded nutrition survey. UNHCR will continue its partnership with the other UN agencies (WHO, WFP, UNICEF and FAO) to advance the reduction of wasting efforts under the Global Action Plan on Wasting initiative.

UNHCR will work with Ministries of Health and partners to strengthen community and facility health information systems, including interoperability between the Integrated Refugee Health Information System and District Health Information Software (DHIS2) in camp and settlement settings. UNHCR will also keep pressing for refugees’ inclusion in national health surveys.