Developing a climate resilient health system in The Bahamas

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Developing a climate resilient health system in The Bahamas

This readiness project is very timely, as the COVID-19 pandemic comes on the heels of Hurricane Dorian (the country’s worst climate disaster). The Bahamas is currently facing a second wave of new COVID-19 cases which threatens the capacity of the country’s health system. The Bahamas is now required to balance and manage preparatory and disaster response mechanisms during an active 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season (and beyond) while addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian have revealed the urgent need to strengthen the linkages and build capacity to address climate change and health issues across the islands of The Bahamas.

These linkages and capacity deficits are visible in the areas of 1) climate change and health policy, 2) health workforce, 3) community/civil society engagement, 4) climate resilient health infrastructure, 5) data collection, information & technology, and 6) financing for climate change and health issues,

Therefore, this readiness project is designed to build upon and strengthen national bodies, communities and human resources with new mechanisms (see Section 2: situational analysis of more details) for the preparation, coordination and response to climate change and health issues on The Bahamas’ health system, national shelters, and general population (inclusive of vulnerable individuals).

The Government recognizes, that as the country seeks to recover (from both the pandemic and recent hurricanes), it may consider fiscal stimulus measures that may lead to further GHG emissions, which may further negatively impact air quality .

However, this proposal recognizes that a ‘greening’ of the COVID19 recovery response is essential and will require the need to develop an integrative governmental assessment and response system to the proposed fiscal stimulus measures. This will enable the partners involved in this readiness project to advise

the government of other viable options.

Therefore, the objectives of the “Developing a climate resilient health system in The Bahamas” readiness project include:

  1. To develop a ‘climate SMART health’1 in all policies systems framework with cross cutting national policies, procedures and practices and interventions to build a climate resilient health care system in The Bahamas;
  2. To enhance the national public health surveillance systems of healthcare facilities (hospitals and primary care clinics) in the Ministry of Health and for community shelters; and
  3. To strengthen coordinated mechanisms, communication across agencies (governmental, private sector, and civil society) and human capacity to respond to climate change effects.

It is envisioned that as a of a result of this readiness project, that the following outcomes will be achieved:

  1. relevant country stakeholders having adequate capacity, systems and networks to support the planning, programming and implementation of GCF-funded activities;
  2. developed and enhanced strategic frameworks to address policy gaps, improve sectoral expertise, and enhance enabling environments for GCF programming in low-emission investment;
  3. an increase in the number of quality project concept notes developed and submitted that target SIDS, LDCs and African states and,
  4. partnerships established to foster development and dissemination of methods, frameworks, and information systems for enhanced climate finance programming at subnational, national, and regional levels.
Cover date 21 December 2020
Document type Approved readiness proposal
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre