• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Climate crisis may drive 44 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 — World Bank

$260bn agrifood investment can halve global greenhouse emissions – W/Bank

The climate crisis is a health-risk multiplier and extreme weather events may bring a harsher reality for human health.

According to a report from the World Bank Group titled “Revised estimates of the Impact of Climate Change of Extreme Poverty by 2030,” the climate crisis has been projected to drive 44 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

“Women, children, the elderly, ethnic minorities, people with pre-existing health conditions, and those living in poverty are among the most vulnerable,” the report said.

The report estimates that climate change may push an additional 132 million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia into extreme poverty by 2030, with 44 million of these driven by health impacts.

The World Bank Group defined changing climate conditions as increasing heat-related illnesses and deaths; changing the patterns of infectious disease transmission, making deadly disease outbreaks and pandemics more likely; worsening maternal and child health outcomes; and intensifying health impacts from extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, wildfires, and windstorms.

“Climate change exerts significant strains on health systems, simultaneously increasing demand for health services and impairing the system’s ability to respond. The climate crisis is also rapidly deteriorating access to basic human needs such as food security, safe drinking water and sanitation, and clean air,” the report added.

According to the report, unabated climate change is also expected to make the global goal of poverty reduction even more challenging to reach.

“A warmer climate could lead to at least 21 million additional deaths by 2050 from just five health risks: extreme heat, stunting, diarrhea, malaria, and dengue,” it said.

The World Bank Group is the largest climate financier and the biggest funder of health systems. It is committed to increasing its investments in climate-health action through its Climate and Health Program by integrating climate considerations with its $34 billion health portfolio which is already active in over 100 countries.

The World Bank Group is supporting countries to:

1. Strengthen health systems to predict, detect, prepare, and respond to climate risks and disasters.

2. Build climate-informed surveillance and early-warning systems.

3. Increase health workforce capacity in climate health, and climate-proofing healthcare infrastructure.

4. Support health systems to transition to low-carbon, high-quality service delivery through clean, renewable energy for infrastructure and fleets, and low-carbon medicines and equipment.

5. Address the root causes of climate change and its impacts on health by working across sectors to scale up efforts in, among other areas, One Health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and energy efficiency.

“The World Bank has already made significant climate-related health investments across more than 100 countries – with 80 percent of its investments allocated to adaptation interventions such as urgent nutrition support, surveillance systems, and emergency response centers,” the report added.