In 2008, the fifty-fifth Session of the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean issued resolution [EM/RC/R.8] which urged Member States to:
- implement a framework for health sector action to protect health from climate change
- establish an effective high-level coordination mechanism to strengthen institutional capacity to protect health from climate change and to facilitate effective engagement of the health sector in the national United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change processes, and ensure a leading role of the Ministry of Health in this mechanism
- establish an early warning capacity for climate sensitive diseases by integrating information on environmental change in the existing health information systems.
In 2009, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new WHO workplan on climate change and health.
CEHA works with Member States to protect health from climate change by:
- developing evidence-based policies, strategies and recommendations
- identifying, preventing and addressing public health problems resulting from climate change
- disseminating tools, guidance, information and training packages to support national awareness and advocacy campaigns on health vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
- building capacity and providing training to the health sector to assess and monitor health vulnerability to climate change
- providing technical support in the preparation of national adaptation plans within health sector plans to protect health from climate change.
The Toolkit to support countries in designing climate change adaptation initiatives is part of a unique global initiative being jointly implemented by WHO, United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and numerous national stakeholders. The project, being piloted in seven countries, seeks to identify and delineate tangible solutions in order to address health risks caused and exacerbated by climate change and variability.
In Jordan, where CEHA is based, the project will particularly focus on enhancing the national adaptive capacity to respond effectively to health risks resulting from chronic water scarcity aggravated by climate change.