From the 1990s onwards, national economies became connected and globalized. Changes in the demographic and epidemiological profile of the population highlighted the need for further discussions and strategies on Human Resources for Health (HRH). The health workforce crisis is a worldwide phenomenon. It includes: difficulties in attracting and retaining health professionals to work in rural and remote areas, poor distribution and high turnover of health staff particularly physicians, poor training of health workforces in new sanitation and demographic conditions and the production of scientific evidence to support HRH decision making, policy management, programs and interventions. In this scenario, technical cooperation activities may contribute to the development of the countries involved, strengthening relationships and expanding exchanges as well as contributing to the production, dissemination and use of technical scientific knowledge and evidence and the training of workers and institutional strengthening. This article aims to explore this context highlighting the participation of Brazil in the international cooperation arena on HRH and emphasizing the role of the World Health Organization in confronting this crisis that limits the ability of countries and their health systems to improve the health and lives of their populations.