The occurrence of crises and disasters, whether natural or man-made, is both unpredictable and unexpected. We have always experienced disasters, wars, and economic and social conflicts across the globe. These crises directly impact the daily lives of entire populations, and healthcare is affected and compromised during these times.

Management of such situations from the pharmacy perspective is crucial to guarantee people can continue their treatment regimens and have access to essential healthcare services, including prevention and education. The access to medicines and services is a key area of work for FIP, as highlighted by the FIP Development Goal 18.

FIP is committed to:

  • Support pharmacy associations with an overview of the skills that pharmacists might need when working in disaster preparedness or emergency situations.
  • Liaise with national ministries of health and other relevant stakeholders to increase the impact and outcomes for pharmacists working in these settings.
  • Create visibility for this specific role pharmacists can also have to encourage colleagues around the world to engage in humanitarian activities.
  • Share among FIP member organisations any opportunities for engagement and success stories in these areas, promoting cross-collaboration.
  • Continue to engage our stakeholders and empower our regional and national leaders and stakeholders to strengthen humanitarian work. 
  • Promote interprofessional collaborative work in humanitarian settings.
  • Make available any resources or those essential for humanitarian work.

Pharmacists and their teams play a critical role in the management of the supply chain for medicines and vaccines in these situations. They ensure the responsible use of medicines and help avert uncertainty in these situations. Pharmacists can also play a vital role in preventing antimicrobial resistance.

To achieve the best possible outcomes for populations in disasters and crises, pharmacists work together with other healthcare professionals and community members to establish trust and provide the best available care to those communities. 

Acknowledging that current training opportunities for pharmacists working in a humanitarian arena are limited, FIP developed a global humanitarian competency framework with the World Health Organisation to support the global overview of the needed competencies.