New Funding Models Crucial to Driving Climate Adaptation Efforts

New Funding Models Crucial to Driving Climate Adaptation Efforts

Climate, health, and philanthropy leaders highlighted the need for new funding models and partnerships to safeguard vulnerable communities

The global health sector must pilot innovative funding models to secure the financing needed to mitigate climate crisis, drive new adaptation strategies, and protect gains made in disease elimination, participants at the Forecasting Healthy Futures Global Summit in Abu Dhabi heard on Wednesday.

Building on the success of the summit’s opening day, which saw His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, Director General of COP28, pledge that health would be a central focus at the upcoming COP in Dubai, speakers addressed the need to explore new partnerships towards climate financing, and safeguarding vulnerable countries against weather extremes.

Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre Launches SEHHI to Promote Healthy Food

Tala Al Ramahi, a Director at Reaching the Last Mile, a portfolio of global health programs driven by the private commitment of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, emphasized the role philanthropy can play in providing venture funding to test novel approaches and seed innovation.

“Philanthropy can help find, fund, and amplify new tools, ideas and strategies to mitigate the effect of climate change on health. It can act as a convenor, to bring in cross-sectoral partners to help shape and expand climate adaption efforts. It can also take the risks that in some cases the private and public sector cannot,” she said.

“We also believe donors have an outsized role to play in funding the collection and sharing of targeted data. This is vital to our understanding what works in combating the effects of climate change on human health, and in keeping us ahead of shifting disease risks.

She continued: “The UAE is a well-established voice in global climate stewardship.

"We know from experience that partnership, collaborative engagement and sustainable funding is the only way to deliver impact at the scale required to address the climate crisis and protect the progress we have made in global health and development.

"As we look towards COP28 and a new chapter of climate action, we require new voices, new funders, and new partners to join us and work together towards this goal."

Addressing the summit, Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, warned that the window for effective climate action is closing.

“Climate change is not a slow creeping threat,” he said. “This is something that will move very fast and will have a very real impact. All health systems are going to be affected by it.”

The Forecasting Healthy Futures Global Summit 2023 is taking place from March 14 to 16 in Abu Dhabi, co-hosted by the Forecasting Healthy Futures consortium and Reaching the Last Mile.

The event has brought together nearly 200 leaders representing 140 organizations and more than 40 countries from government, private sector, NGOs, global finance institutions and higher education, with the goal of moving the global health community toward proactive solutions and substantial financing for climate-adaptive health strategies ahead of COP28 in Dubai later this year.

Day two attendees also heard from youth climate activists, who outlined the need for global health and climate actors and governments to mobilize young people in support of breakthrough climate action.

Omnia El Omrani, COP27 Youth Envoy, said: “The climate crisis is a human rights crisis, and we have the right to an environment that supports our health. Today’s young experts will face the effects of the climate crisis in the future and should be seen as partners to key actors in this space.

She continued: “We need to empower young people to lead their own grassroots initiatives and provide mentorship and funding to ensure we find and unlock the full potential of youth solutions."

In a spotlight address, Dr Kaushik Sarkar, Director at the Institute for Malaria and Climate Solutions (IMACS), an institute launched by Forecasting Healthy Futures in January 2022 with funding from Reaching the Last Mile, said the health sector’s ability to meet and offset global warming hinged on its ability to mobilize and fund new approaches.

“We have seen disruptive effects in our programs in Pakistan and Africa as a result of climate change. It is critical that we recognize that those of us who are least able to absorb the economic toll of these changes are the most affected, as vulnerable and disenfranchised communities,” he said.

“We are at a crossroads in the fight against climate change, and the actions we take, or don’t take will affect millions of people globally. For that reason, it is not only our responsibility but a moral imperative for us to work together as implementing partners and as individuals to bring forth equitable solutions.”

Forecasting Healthy Futures is a consortium of leading health and technology organizations convened by Malaria No More with funding from Reaching the Last Mile.

Since its launch in 2020, FHF has worked to drive innovation and investment in new strategies and technologies to protect global health gains from the impacts of climate change.

In January 2022, Forecasting Healthy Futures launched the Institute for Malaria and Climate Solutions (IMACS), in partnership with Reaching the Last Mile.

A global institute, IMACS is committed to supporting malaria elimination efforts through the use of sophisticated prediction and planning tools, and the technical assistance and supportive policies needed to help governments use them to counter the volatile effects of global warming and extreme weather events.

Read More: Major Health Risks Unfolding Amid Floods in Pakistan

Sustainability Middle East News