Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) Office (8 February 2021)


Inaugurated in 2001, the Lyon WHO Office is celebrating its 20th anniversary on 8 February 2021.

The Office aims to help States build their emergency preparedness and response capacities within the framework of the International Health Regulations (2005). It works in close collaboration with WHO regional offices and national authorities in three main areas:

  • Building capacity of public health laboratories;
  • Supporting States in prevention and response to the spread of risks at borders;
  • Training staff of States in the operational preparation and response to health emergencies and the implementation of IHR.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the WHO Lyon Office has been working hard to assist States in addressing the pandemic. It has drafted international reference documents on COVID-19 biological diagnostics and the management of the pandemic in the international travel sector, points of entry and health at borders. It has also set up webinars where best practices and technical information have been shared among more than 3,500 participants from 145 countries. The Office also conducts preparation activities for countries in the diagnostics pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Initiative (ACT-A).

Further information on the activities of the Lyon WHO Office is available in the video below: