Overview of Importance of Palliative Care in Humanitarian Crises

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that in 2021 500 million people will require humanitarian assistance. Just over half of these will be under the age of 18.

We do not know how many would need palliative care but from assessments of need in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh and with Refugees from South Sudan in Northern Uganda, the need is real and largely unmet.

There has been a growing understanding of the need for palliative care in humanitarian crises that led to a WHO guide; an OUP Handbook and the inclusion of the first palliative care Standard in the Sphere Handbook. Model projects are developing and there is a growing evidence base.