Press Release

International Medical Corps Joins Others at COP28 to Offer Solutions to the Health Impacts of Climate Change

A leader in emergency humanitarian response, as well as healthcare development and training in fragile and conflict-affected states, International Medical Corps will present on the health impacts of climate change at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will be held November 30–December 12 in Dubai, UAE. The global first responder’s representatives at COP28 will include Dr. Ons Al Khadra, Director of MENA and GCC Affairs, and Paul Knox Clarke, Climate Consultant. The organization also has a range of subject-matter experts available to speak with the media.

  • On Sunday, December 3—COP’s first-ever Day of Health—at 9:00–10:00 a.m. local time, Dr. Ons Al Khadra will participate in a panel at the UNOPS Pavilion in the Blue Zone titled, “Climate-related Challenges Affecting Health in Fragile and Conflict-affected Settings: Emerging Responses to Build Resilience.”
  • On Tuesday, December 5, at 5:30–6:30 p.m., Paul Knox Clarke will participate in a panel at the Mobility Pavilion in the Blue Zone titled, “Climate Crossroads: Health, Displacement and Forced Migration in the Shadow of Conflict.”
  • On Wednesday, December 6, at 10:00–11:30 a.m., Paul Knox Clarke will participate in a panel at the Humanitarian Pavilion in the Green Zone titled, “Climate-related Healthcare in Fragile and Conflict-affected States: Emerging Challenges and Responses.”

International Medical Corps is proud to endorse the COP28 Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery and Peace, which outlines the steps the global community must take to address the climate crisis by promoting resilience in fragile and conflict-affected states, improving evidence, learning and practice, and building stronger partnerships to enable more effective collaboration.

The global humanitarian organization is also pleased that its Climate Change Innovation Fund is part of the COP28 Package of Solutions. The fund supports the aims of the COP28 Declaration by:

  • making investments in climate adaptation and resilience programs;
  • providing training and capacity building for affected governments and communities;
  • supporting granular and integrated risk assessments and risk mapping; and
  • benefitting local communities affected by climate change by developing and sharing knowledge on risk mitigation practices and management, and lessons learned about how to work more effectively in crisis settings.

Through the Fund, International Medical Corps is incorporating climate-related education into its community health work across a number of countries, rehabilitating health and water infrastructure that has been destroyed in climate-related disasters, and designing infrastructure that is more resilient to extreme heat. It is currently implementing these initiatives in Mali and Zimbabwe, and will be launching initiatives in Pakistan and Somalia early next year.

International Medical Corps will implement fund-supported projects with local partners and in close collaboration with national and local authorities, community members, and international, national and local non-governmental organizations.

In its work to improve resilience in low-resource environments, which spans nearly four decades, International Medical Corps focuses on two significant areas: training and capacity strengthening. Working with ministries of health and local partners, International Medical Corps trains health workers to better treat chronic conditions, prevent infectious disease outbreaks through improved hygiene and sanitation practices, detect and treat early signs of malnutrition and provide other vital interventions.

The organization also strengthens health systems by focusing on education, infrastructure and technology. For example, after unprecedented flooding in Pakistan destroyed critical infrastructure last year, International Medical Corps supported a mobile, solar-powered reverse-osmosis plant that traveled across Sindh province, converting floodwater into safe drinking water.

Last year alone, 32.6 million people fled natural disasters, compounding the impact of existing humanitarian crises. Over the next 30 years, 1.2 billion people could be displaced by climate change. No matter what happens, International Medical Corps will continue to serve vulnerable communities worldwide, working to mitigate risk, adapt its programming and find innovative solutions as the climate crisis evolves.

The organization has recently published two useful resources on climate change and its effect on the humanitarian sector: International Medical Corps and the Threat of Climate Change: Our Response and a Call to Action, and Evidence Report: Impact of Climate Change.

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