Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Essential Healthcare - Outbreak preparedness and response (Communicable diseases)
Infection prevention and control (surveillance, outbreak preparedness and early response)
Establishing outbreak investigation teams

Establishing outbreak investigation teams


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Local environmental conditions can affect the mode of transport visiting teams use to travel between locations. Local environmental conditions will also significantly affect the types of infections/outbreaks that may occur in a country and therefore the equipment and resources a team may bring with them.

Changing climate and local environmental degradation will also influence the types of infections / diseases that a location is susceptible to.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Ensure traditions are safeguarded if needed, such as different transportation vehicles for men and women.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Natural Resource depletion

Summary of Impacts
Potential environmental impacts
  • Additional visiting staff can increase local air pollution from long-distance travel and if additional travel is required
  • Increased potential for air, water, soil pollution, and solid waste production.
Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information
  • Travel and transportation required to move the staff between different locations cause air pollution, this includes the transportation necessary for international staff/ex-pats.
  • Visiting personnel tend to have quite intense impacts on a local environment, through increased international and local travel, local consumption, and creating waste that may not be possible to process locally.


Summary of environmental activities

Use of local staff and minimise transports when possible

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities
  • When recruiting or relocating staff, the environmental impacts of transportation and energy used need to be considered. Pollution due to travel, consumption, energy use, waste creation can normally be reduced through employing staff locally instead of international staff/ex-pats.
  • Require staff to maximise vehicle sharing to reduce vehicle environmental impacts.
  • Be aware of the displacement and departure of healthcare workers during the conflict.
  • Promoting and enabling the use of public transportation and non-motorized transportation (cycling and
    walking) for staff as well as for patients and visitors.
Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

The FCDO in responding to the Global Covid-19 response used returning staff repatriation flights to bring medical teams into countries, including Bangladesh. This both helped with the pandemic response and also reduced emissions from separate flights.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

# of successful investigation teams

Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities
  • Prevention of environmental damage
  • Mitigation of environmental damage
  • Environmental enhancement
Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Additional time to assess and mitigate the impacts

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