***Source- Caribbeannewsnow.com, First published May 20, 2023
The Global Climate & Health Alliance (GCHA) has released its report on countries with the most committed goal of integrating health as part of their climate action.
Two Caribbean islands made it to top 10 of the 2023 Healthy Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Scorecard—Dominica and Haiti.
The report ranked a total of 58 low and middle income countries who submitted their United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for analysis.
The NDCs are commitments by countries in a bid to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature from rising any further.
GCHA focused on the “governments’ national climate commitments recognize and respond to the abundant linkages with health.”
“Ensuring the integration of health into climate policy protects populations, maximizes economic benefits, and builds public backing for ambitious climate policies which are so urgently needed,” GCHA said in its website.
Burundi and Côte d’Ivoire were first and second place, respectively, in the list, followed by Democratic Republic of Congo and Dominica in third and fourth places. Haiti ranked 7th in the top 10.
Dominica’s NDC heavily referred to the country’s experience with Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, which caused the deaths of 30 people across the island, that a budget is included for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment.
“With regard to monitoring and implementation, Dominica seeks to have 80% community health service functional within ~1-2 hours of a major event by 2025, and zero climate-related fatalities and 100% Smart Health Centres by 2030,” the report said.
The small Caribbean island has been ramping up its climate resiliency by building sustainable infrastructure such as houses, healthcare facilities, and schools. These projects are mostly funded by the Citizenship by Investment programme, and developed by its long-standing partner company MMC Development Ltd.
Haiti, meanwhile, referred to health losses and damages, and the threat of climate change to sanitation.
“Actions for the health sector include reinforcement of prevention systems and treatment of climate-related diseases, provision of adequate equipment in health facilities, establishment of education programme on environmental and health, and capacity building of staff,” the report said.