Pacific Resilience Week provides platform for strengthening partnerships and collaboration on disaster risk reduction, climate change and humanitarian initiatives

SUVA, Fiji, 06 October 2017 – From the 2nd to 6th October, regional leaders and experts from the climate change, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian sectors came together for Pacific Resilience Week in Suva, Fiji.

Under the banner ‘Pathways to a Resilient Pacific’, the event covers disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery and climate change and brings together community leaders and experts from across the region with key agencies to strengthen partnerships for a Resilient Pacific.

The ability of communities in the Pacific to absorb the shocks and stressors of natural disasters, climate change and emerging diseases is heavily dependent having adaptive, climate resilient health systems; strong, healthy communities; and effective surveillance and emergency response systems. Pacific island countries and areas are among some of the most vulnerable in the world as they face the burden of climate change, noncommunicable diseases, communicable diseases and health impacts resulting from natural disasters, some of which are expected to increase in frequency or severity as a result of climate change.

The diagram below highlights this interrelationship between climate change (CC) and direct, indirect and diffuse health (H) effects, and the building blocks for climate resilient health systems.

Ensuring that health is a key consideration in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and humanitarian initiatives is critical to building health system resilience and protecting the health and well-being of Pacific communities.

In support of this, WHO is proud to work in close collaboration with Pacific ministries of health, communities and partners to implement community-based risk reduction initiatives, strengthen health systems and provide technical guidance and resources in emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

WHO has been actively participating throughout the week to ensure health issues are a key area of consideration.