Nevio Zagaria

Short biography

Italian MD, 62, with master in public health, post graduations in emergency medicine and paediatrics. 33 years of international working experience. Initial 10 years with international NGOs,   planning and implementing developmental as well humanitarian health projects mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Two years as senior public health advisor of the Italian National Health Institute for the humanitarian health programs of the Italian Cooperation in Ruanda, Bosnia, and Albania. Last twenty years with WHO, first deployment as Emergency Health Coordinator in Angola for 1.5 years.
Then in WHO Geneva as coordinator of global eradication and elimination initiatives, and the strategic development of the Neglected Diseases Initiative during 6.5 years. Between 2004 and 2012 he covered several senior positions in WHO Geneva in the Health Action in Crisis Cluster, contributing to the implementation of the humanitarian reform, and the transformative agenda, and as director a.i. of the Emergency Operations during the last 1.5 years.
He then moved to WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, Manila as Coordinator of Disaster Risk Management for Health in the up to December 2016. During this time he led the response of the major disasters in the Region, including the level 3 humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013. He developed and finalized the Regional Framework of Disaster Risk Management for Health, endorsed by the Regional Committee in 2014, and prioritized on scaling up the Safe Hospitals initiative, and the national capacities to coordination and setting up of national and international Emergency Medical Teams in priority Countries in the Region. 

Between December 2016 and September 2018 he has been the WHO Country Representative in Yemen, with a Country Office of 250 national and international staff, and an un-precedent financial availability for the implementation of WHO interventions as part of the health sector humanitarian and transitional agenda for the 2017 – 2020 period. Under his leadership consensus on confidence building measures have been reached, such as Oral Cholera Vaccination campaigns during the assault to Hodeida city, and the Humanitarian Medical Air Bridge.

Since October 2018 he is an independent public health consultant with priority areas of expertise on: Disaster Risk Reduction, health sector strategic planning and response to acute and protracted humanitarian crisis, information and knowledge management with focus on vulnerability assessments and equity, and finally human security.


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