Key environmental issues linked to health in a humanitarian response
Key environmental issues linked to health in a humanitarian response
This study, conducted in 2019 by WHO, looks at safe health care waste management, including segregation, collection, transport, treatment and waste disposal and understands that it is fundamental to wider efforts to provide quality and safe health care. The report includes safe health care waste management practices and understands that this supports a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 3 on health, Goal 6 on safely managed water and sanitation, Goal 7 on climate change and Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production.
This research is based on new global data released by WHO/UNICEF in 2019, where data from the represented 560,000 facilities from 125 countries, indicate that 40% of health care facilities do not segregate waste.
This document highlights the key aspects of safe health-care waste management to guide policy-makers, practitioners and facility managers to provide services in health-care facilities. It is based on the comprehensive and detailed WHO handbook Safe management of wastes from health-care activities. The report is part of the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) and looks at the broader water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and infection prevention and control (IPC) efforts, safe management of health-care waste reduce health-care-related infections.
The study includes health-care waste categories and risks, waste storage requirements, wastewater management, among others and is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mainly SDG 3 on health, SDG 6 on safely managed water and sanitation, as well as SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production.
The Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disaster (REA) is a tool to identify, define, and prioritize potential environmental impacts in disaster situations.
These guidelines were developed with the aim of supporting the full cycle of disaster waste management, from risk reduction and contingency planning through to emergency planning response following a disaster or conflict.
The Handbook is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized tools for the delivery of the quality humanitarian response
The Sphere Minimum Standards for Healthcare are a practical expression of the right to healthcare in humanitarian contexts. The standards are grounded in the beliefs, principles, duties and rights declared in the Humanitarian Charter. These include the right to life with dignity, the right to protection and security, and the right to receive humanitarian assistance on the basis of need.
The guide is targeted to emergency planners and environmental technical staff working in a disaster context. It provides detailed guidance on environmental health activities in the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery stages of an emergency.
This WHO page gathers guidance concerning the public health response to technological incidents, e.g. chemical accidents and accidents related to the transport of hazardous goods.
The guidelines outline the typical environmental impacts of healthcare waste and provides options on how to mitigate or prevent these.
Quick identification of serious environmental concerns in small-scale sanitation activities.
The GRRT is a toolkit and training program designed to increase awareness and knowledge of environmentally responsible disaster response approaches.
This summary summarizes the session from the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week on Asbestos and Humanitarian response, from February 2020. Core questions posed in the session included (1) what the immediate actions, which can be taken to reduce the asbestos risks in post-disaster operations, and (2) What the long-term options are for reducing overall asbestos risks and specific risks following disasters. The summary further includes available information and guidelines on disaster waste handling and cases studies conducted by the Mozambique Shelter Cluster and UNDP on General Strategy for Risk Reduction linked to Asbestos Cement.
WHO has conducted a Glossary that aims to enable all actors, sectors and communities to work together more efficiently. The glossary is developed to remedy the lack of standardized terminology in the field of Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health EDRM). It is designed for practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders who work in the fields that contribute to reducing the health risks and consequences of all types of emergencies and disasters.
The OECD has published a brief on the immediate steps that governments can take to ensure that emergency measures implemented to tackle the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. The brief highlights that the crisis should not derail governments efforts to address pressing environmental challenges and improve environmental health and resilience of societies.
The UNEP division of Technology, Industry and Economics International Environmental Technology Centre has written a compendium which outlines the process of technology selection in the health-care sector based on UNEP’s Sustainable Assessment of Technologies (SAT) methodology. The report highlights the importance of waste management concerning healthcare waste generated by facilities, medical laboratories and biomedical research facilitates, as well as waste from minor or scattered sources.
This study, conducted in 2019, focuses on the definition of climate vulnerability with operational and political perspectives and delivers guidelines for assessing climate vulnerability in long-term crises, such as in conflict-affected countries and recurrent disaster-prone areas.
The research draws on an extensive academic literature review in the fields of biology, political science, sociology and geography. It derives data from a variety of innovative projects and methods in the field of development and humanitarian aid, induced and encouraged by the Grand Bargain. In addition, the research offers a contribution to the IKI Project carried out by the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit in the refugee camp of Gitega Province in Burundi.
The study is available in French only.
This strategy addresses awareness, assessment and management of asbestos cement material present in debris and damaged roofing following Cyclone Idai in Mozambique (2019). Drawing from the case study, the strategy (document) provides a general outline of key steps to raise awareness (presentation) ; design trainings; and plan and implement safe removal, handling and disposal of asbestos in emergency situations (Guidance Note)
Disasters can create environments in which vectors can increase dramatically and spread diseases. However, the chemicals most commonly used to dispose of these vectors can damage the environment and health. This paper provides guidance on how to create post-disaster sanitary efforts that remove the amount of vectors while simultaneously reducing harm to the environment and human health.
The Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration is a joint effort committed to building expertise on the public health aspects of migration and making information in this area widely available. The Hub provides tool kits, training materials, reports and schooling to better prepare for the health needs which arise during large-scale migration events.
The Flood Resilience Portal is a tool which provides open access to resources to build resiliency to floods. It issues reviews of past responses and provides community-specific flood resilience measurements.
PrepareCenter.org is an initiative established by the Red Cross which provides reports, case studies and training materials to encourage better preparedness for emergencies. It also provides insights and tools to integrate themes such as climate change, environment and urban resilience in disaster preparedness.
The WHO UNFCCC Climate and Health Country Profile Project provides country-specific estimates of current and future climate hazards. It also identifies the effects of climate change on human health and identifies mitigation and policy change actions. The data is collected via biennial surveys and was completed in 2017. The next series will be released in 2019 and will cover approximately 80 countries.
The Nepal Environment and Humanitarian Action (EHA) country-level study is one in a series of studies undertaken by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Environment Unit (JEU) in 2015 that assesses the extent to which environmental concerns have been mainstreamed in humanitarian action. It provides guidance to humanitarian actors on how to improve environmental mainstreaming in a rapid onset emergency.
The Afghanistan Environment and Humanitarian Action (EHA) country-level study is one in a series of studies undertaken by the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU) in 2015 that assesses the extent to which environmental concerns have been
mainstreamed in humanitarian action. This study provides guidance and advice to humanitarian actors on how to improve environmental mainstreaming in a protracted crisis.
A policy briefing provided by the international research collaboration The Lancet Countdown, offering an updated analysis of the intersection of climate change and global health. The briefing integrates the findings of the 2018 Lancet Countdown on Climate Change’s International Report with MSF’s documented on-the-ground experiences.
The ‘Quick guides’ contain key guidance on environmental issues relevant to six sectors of (viz. Food Security and Agriculture Sector, Basic Needs Sector, Health Sector, Education Sector, Protection Sector and Livelihood Sector) of humanitarian response to population displacement. They underscore the opportunities to minimize negative environmental impacts during humanitarian action. These quick guides are developed by UN Environment mostly for humanitarian action in urban setting. Please download the Quick Guides here.
The Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT) helps to identify existing or potential acute environmental impacts that pose risks for humans, human life-support functions and ecosystems, following sudden-onset natural disasters. FEAT focuses primarily on immediate and acute impacts arising from released hazardous chemicals.
The Health and Environment Linkages Initiative (HELI) is a global effort by WHO and UN Environment to promote and facilitate action in developing countries to reduce environmental threats to human health, in support of sustainable development objectives.