Health by the WHO:
The WHO defines health "as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations organization that deals with health-related issues across the globe. The WHO's objective is "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health." It was founded in 1948, during the aftermath of World War II, when many similar United Nations organizations were created. It is controlled through the World Health Assembly, another United Nations body, which consists of 192 countries.
What does the WHO do?
HIV/AIDS is one of many diseases the WHO works against. Red ribbons are often used as displays of support for victims of AIDS.
The WHO does a lot to help with poverty alleviation efforts that involve health issues. Specifically, it concentrates on helping developing countries create the management and infrastrucutre they need to have an effective health system that reaches out to the poor. The WHO provides technical assistance and experience to these countries and continually looks for new ways to improve health.
The WHO is also measures many health-related indicators to help determine progress in U.N. goals, especially the Millennium Development goals. It also produces publications that calculate health trends, and determine the causes for progress (or lack of it) toward the various health-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
Suprisingly, approximately half of the WHO's annual budget is now funded by private organizations, the largest of which are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. While it is still a U.N. agency (that is where the other half of its budget comes from), the WHO has increasingly been willing to work closely with private foundations and even for-profit companies (such as pharmaceutical companies). These relationships are referred to as as 'private-public partnerships,' and are increasingly common among non-governmental organizations, for-profit companies, and government agencies working to stop poverty.
OECD and WHO.
DAC Guideline and Reference Series: Poverty and Health (PDF). 2003.
The Rockefeller Foundation: Grantmaking: Health. 2005.
WHO: Nutrition: an Action Framework. 2006.
WHO's Work on the MDGs. 2006.
Wikipedia: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 2006.
Wikipedia: Public-private Partnership. 2006.
Wikipedia: World Health Organization. 2006.