The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Construire des systèmes de santé résilients face aux changements climatiques grâce à des partenariats

Discours de Jorge Moreira da Silva, Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies et Directeur exécutif de l’UNOPS, lors de l’événement de haut niveau des Nations Unies intitulé « Construire des systèmes de santé résilients face aux changements climatiques grâce à des partenariats comme l’Alliance pour une action transformatrice sur le climat et la santé (ATACH) » à la COP28 (en anglais).

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Excellencies, colleagues, friends,

I am delighted to co host this panel discussion with you.

Our conversation today is anchored in the increasing realization that the health of human beings and our planet are deeply deeply intertwined.

  • Climate change is taking a huge toll on human health, from the impact of extreme weather events and natural disasters, to heat stress, air pollution and the increase of infectious and vector borne diseases.

  • To adapt to a changing climate - our systems, and particularly our health systems must become more resilient

  • And at the same time - our health systems need to reduce their own emissions

UNOPS is deeply invested in supporting countries and partners in their efforts to build sustainable, climate resilient health systems

As a member of the Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH), and with our focus on operations and implementation, we have much to offer by way of practical solutions.

As you may know - UNOPS has particular expertise in infrastructure, procurement and project management, working in over 80 countries, including some of the most challenging operating environments around the world.

Our work to address climate and health challenges broadly focuses on resilient health infrastructure, sustainable health procurement and supply chains and health project management. This work is varied, in focus and geographic spread - and always tailored to country needs.

We have been the Principal Recipient of Global Fund in Asia for 11 years, where we are on the verge of eliminating malaria. We must ensure these gains are not lost, despite the impact of climate change on malaria transmission - which we know is shifting.

We have been working in some countries for over 20 years, so we understand the contexts as well as the evolving challenges and needs. We have become a trusted implementing partner. Allow me to share just a few examples.

In rural Sierra Leone, working with the government, private sector and the United Kingdom , we helped provide access to clean energy by solarising over 20 health centres we created a mini grid to not only provide 24 / 7 electricity to the clinics but provided electricity to power local shops and schools improving essential services for some 300,000 people.

In Yemen, we work with KFW and the world bank - working with local organizations, building their capacities we have increased access to solar energy in health facilities, schools and homes, as well as rehabilitating and constructing water and sanitation infrastructure. Through the projects we always look for opportunities to engage local communities, building ownership as well as local capacity so projects can be more inclusive and sustainable

In Somalia - working together with the ministry of health and the world bank, we are rehabilitating regional hospitals, to ensure they can withstand climate-related challenges, in one of the world’s most affected areas. This work integrates climate resilience measures – such as flood prevention mechanisms, wind-resistant structures and passive cooling systems.

In Sri Lanka, partnering with the EU, we constructed a wastewater treatment facility at a hospital, to stop wastewater going into irrigation canals and polluting water systems in the area.

And in Gaza - prior to the recent escalation of hostilities - UNOPS provided renewable energy solutions to health services - including the installation of a hybrid solar system at the European Gaza Hospital, serving around 100,000 people.

Whether we are providing renewable energy or sustainable waste management solutions, one thing is clear: working together, with affected communities, we can scale up the work to support climate-fragile countries in increasing resilience in the health system while also reducing emissions and contributing to positive health outcomes.

All of this is only possible in partnership. And that is how UNOPS works. We are focused on sustainable solutions - that are practical, and are always tailored to the needs of countries.

We know that there is an implementation and capacity building gap hindering all our climate efforts. Practical action on the ground is needed urgently. At UNOPS, we are determined to bring our operational focus to support joint efforts to build climate resilient and low carbon health systems.

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