Press release

Research projects set to improve people's health in humanitarian crises

The Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme is awarding grants to eight pioneering research projects, including an examination of the effectiveness of simplified psychological support delivered by supervised 'para-professionals' in conflict-affected areas, and a study to validate a novel cost-effective method for pain control after earthquakes.

The grant recipients, who will be working with a range of academic and operational humanitarian partners, will receive over £1.9 million in total over two years. This is the R2HC programme's first round of funding since it was launched in June 2013 to support research to strengthen the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises.

The £8m R2HC programme is funded equally by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) overseeing the programme's execution and management.

Daniel Davies, R2HC's Programme Manager, said: "These eight projects represent the first round of world-class research that will be funded under the R2HC programme to strengthen the evidence base on effective health interventions in humanitarian crises."

Dr Jimmy Whitworth, Head of Population Health at the Wellcome Trust, said: "All of the funded proposals are outstanding in terms of the relevance and robustness of their plans to improve population health in emergency situations. They have also described strong partnerships between health researchers and the agencies on the ground, which will be crucial for the success of these projects."

As part of its second call for proposals, opening on 26 May 2014, the programme will support applicants in identifying suitable partners and building effective research collaborations. Workshops will be held in Addis Ababa on 30 April 2014 and Bangkok on 15 May 2014.