King leads international endeavor to coordinate relief organizations’ efforts to maintain flow of humanitarian supplies into Gaza, says PMMOPH-MOE JOINT OFFICIAL RELEASE TOWARDS A CLIMATE RESILIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said that the political effort led by His Majesty King Abdullah when the aggression against Gaza first began brought about actions and movements that changed the perception and sentiment of the public in Western nations and led to the UN Security Council passing a resolution to establish humanitarian truces that would permit the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to an interview with the local TV station, Almamlaka, the Prime Minister added that His Majesty the King is leading an international effort to coordinate relief organizations’ efforts to to maintain the flow of humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II was the highest-ranking Arab official present at the Rafah border when the convoys of humanitarian and medical aid that constructed the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Yunis began, according to Khasawneh.

“Since the beginning of this aggression, we have stated that attempts to force the population out of Gaza c
onstitute a red line because they may be a precursor to patterns of forced displacement in other directions, including the West Bank, and we have supported Egypt’s unequivocal rejection of displacement,” the Prime Minister emphasized. He also emphasized that any displacement, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, constitutes the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

Khasawneh praised Qatar’s and Egypt’s efforts in bringing about the ceasefire, which is now in its third day. He noted that there are signs that could lead to its extension and that a permanent ceasefire would be established in order to facilitate political negotiations that would lead to a two-state solution and the realization of the Palestinian people’s right to create an independent state.

He underlined Jordan’s stance in favor of humanitarian truces as a means of establishing a long-lasting ceasefire and initiating the required political dialogue that “will enable us to advance toward realizing the two-state solution the one that cannot be avoi
ded.”

“We have set boundaries since the beginning of this war, especially since there were calls at the start of this aggression for Gazans to flee to Egypt. For us, this was a red line because it could be a precursor to patterns of forced displacement in other directions, including in the West Bank. So, we’ve supported Egypt’s clear position, because any displacement constitutes the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, and we stated at the time that any type of forced population displacement towards Jordan would constitute a declaration of war against us. The peace treaty prohibits population movement and displacement, so any attempt to create a situation that would result in population displacement forcibly would be a material breach of the agreement. This would also be in opposition to the agreement’s goals and objectives, which would bring us back to a state of no peace,” Khasawneh added.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Lebanon has been experiencing increased temperatures, as well as increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters related to climate change, which not only has direct impact on human health but also threatens the capacity of health care delivery services in managing and protecting population health. Preliminary assessments found that the overall adaptive capacity of healthcare institutions in Lebanon is low, as many of them lack the capacity and resources needed to prepare for and respond to this climatic challenge.

Therefore, and consistently with its commitment to the Paris Agreement, Lebanon has announced its commitment to building a climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable healthcare system as part of the UK COP26’s Initiative ‘Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate Health (ATACH)’. This initiative, launched by the UK COP26 Presidency in 2021, calls on countries to take bold action to address the intersection of climate change and health.

Lebanon, in partnership with the World Healt
h Organization (WHO), is committed to developing a comprehensive and integrated approach to climate change and health. Both the Ministries of Public health (MoPH) and the Environment (MoE) have expressed commitment to the Health and Environment Strategic Framework 2021-2026 launched on the World Health day 2022, in line with the Arab Health and Environment Strategy Framework 2017-30 adopted by the Summit of the Arab League on April 15, 2018. The strategy focuses on healthcare facilities in areas of water and sanitation, chemical safety, management of healthcare waste, environmental preparedness in health care, vulnerability of health care facilities to climate change, emergency preparedness, and greening of the health sector.

In addition, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has endorsed COP26 proceedings in an official letter signed and dated March 26, 2023. As part of this initiative, Lebanon will prioritize the health needs of its population, while simultaneously addressing the environmental and
sustainability challenges facing its healthcare facilities. Lebanon will be working to strengthen its healthcare infrastructure, increase its capacity for emergency preparedness and response, and improve its ability to monitor and respond to emerging health threats. The most recent cholera outbreak is an example of the significant impact of deterioration in infrastructure and neglect of climate change. Lebanon is also committed to reducing the environmental impact of its healthcare system, particularly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.

Moreover, Lebanon’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) has emphasized on increased adaptation action, prioritizing action to ensure public health’s safety, well-being, and safety of all communities through climate resilient systems. All of which is aligned and builds up on the MoPHs efforts to increase climate-resilient systems as per Lebanon’s National Health Strategy: Vision 2030. Lebanon did initiate climate friendly actions, including investing
in solar energy in healthcare facilities, with the support of several UN agencies, and integration of telehealth. On the other hand, a recent report by the MoE, in collaboration with UNDP, GEF, and the MoPH has highlighted further the need for progressive adaptive measures to increase the climate resilience of public health infrastructure, facilities, and capacities.

Therefore, Lebanon commits to continuously improve its health system to be resilient to climate change impacts through:

Updating the climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessment (V and A) that was conducted in the latest Fourth National Communication Report and highlighted even further in the Vulnerability and Adaptation of Healthcare Service Providers Report; officials will continue to assess vulnerability to climate change in an iterative way, and inform health policies and programs.

Developing a health component in the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) based on updated evidence from the updated climate change and health
vulnerability assessments.

Lebanon will use its abundant research and reports (Vulnerability of Health Care Facilities to Climate Change 2022 Report; Lebanon’s 4th National Communication on Climate Change; Lebanon’s National Health Strategy: Vision 2030; upcoming NAP) to identify needs and priorities that may facilitate access to climate change funding for health, including the climate change multilateral funding mechanisms (e.g., project proposals submitted to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) or Adaptation Fund (AF) or GCF Readiness Programmes). As a nation that has struggled with environmental and public health challenges, Both the Lebanese Ministers of Public Health and Environment believe that this initiative is a crucial step towards building a more climate resilient and sustainably healthy future for the nation, and are keen on addressing the gaps identified at the levels of policy, infrastructure, and prevention.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon