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New toolkit on health costs of climate adaptation and report on preventing health effects of flooding

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe has launched a new tool for national authorities to help estimate the health costs of climate change adaptation measures in various sectors as well as a report on flooding and health.

The toolkit has been prepared to support health adaptation planning in European Member States to estimate the costs associated with damage to health due to climate change.

Member States, citizens or advocacy groups can also use the tool to estimate the benefits of adaptation measures to minimise these effects. In particular, it can help strengthen the case for health adaptation in settings where climate change adaptation measures are just beginning.

During the UN climate change negotiations earlier in June in Bonn, where the toolkit was launched, the UNFCCC Secretariat estimated that US$ 73 billion per year will be needed for adaptation measures by 2030, including US$ 5 billion spent directly by the health sector and over US$ 25 billion by sectors influencing public health, such as water supply and sanitation. Unfortunately, only a few examples exist of the estimated cost of health-sector adaptation in countries’ adaptation plans.

The tool consists of a document describing the methods step-by-step and a manual with an Excel spreadsheet, which is a visual aid for calculating costs.

In line with the WHO’s work on climate change, the WHO Regional Office for European and the UK Health Protection Agency undertook a project to investigate the adverse health effects of floods and to understand how best to protect the health of populations during floods in the WHO European region.

In order to carry out the project, a questionnaire was sent to 50 of the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region to collect information on their recent experience of floods, their health effects and current preparedness and response mechanisms. A systematic review was also undertaken of the epidemiological literature on the global impact of flooding on health.

The findings will help WHO to prepare evidence-based guidance for the European Region on health concerns before, during and after flooding incidents and the measures for prevention, response and recovery.

For more information and to download the toolkit click here

The report ’Floods in the WHO Europe region: health effects and their prevention’ is available here

Originally posted on 23 July 2013

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