Climate and health

The climate crisis is a health crisis. Climate change is changing both the environmental and social determinants of health for the worse. It is widening inequalities and creating new vulnerabilities through its impacts on health, water supplies, nutrition, livelihoods, air quality, psychosocial well-being, labour productivity and income, and displacement amongst others.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is uniquely placed to support health services globally to vulnerable populations. Reducing the health impacts of climate change is one of the key pillars of the Movement’s climate ambitions 2020. The Climate Centre is providing technical support to the Movement to achieve this goal. 

Climate impacts on health and livelihoods

Climate impacts on health and livelihoods

This series of assessments on the impacts of climate change on health and livelihoods presents key information about major trends and gaps in each country. The assessments include climate projections, synthesis of current evidence on the impacts of climate change on livelihoods (for the Asia-Pacific countries) and the impacts of climate change on health (for the Asia-Pacific and African countries), including non-communicable & communicable diseases, as well as WASH and sexual and reproductive health rights, a policy review and recommendations.

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Forecast-based financing

One of the flagship initiatives of the Climate Centre has been the provision of support to establish forecast-based financing systems. Many of the Climate Centre’s operational FbF programmes address the negative health impacts associate with extreme-weather events.

These include responding to the respiratory implications of volcanic ash in Ecuador; water-borne disease risk due to cyclones and floods in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Mali, Niger, Bangladesh and the Philippines; malnutrition and food insecurity because of droughts in Niger; psychosocial support in the face of extreme winter conditions in Mongolia; and preparedness for extreme heat in Vietnam.

Countries where we work on FbF

Reducing the health impacts of climate change health through water, sanitation and hygiene

Climate change is adversely affecting human health, directly through exposure to hazards and indirectly through natural and socio-economic systems. Intersecting issues such as annual variability and rising frequency and intensity of extreme weather, pressures on natural resources, voluntary and involuntary migration and rapid urbanization have serious consequences on both physical as well as mental health and well-being. 


ENBEL: Exploring linkages between health and climate

Climate change is the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century, says the WHO. By bringing together leaders in climate change and health research, the CICERO-coordinated Horizon 2020 project ENBEL will contribute with knowledge and policy advice on climate change and health links, supporting the EU and international and policy-making for low-carbon economies and climate resilience.

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ENBEL: Exploring linkages between health and climate