April 28, 2017 (Georgetown, Guyana) — The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) today to join other CARICOM and non-Governmental agencies, representing climate-sensitive sectors in the Caribbean, as the lead health partner on the Consortium of Regional Sectoral Early Warning Information Systems Across Climate Timescales (EWISACTs) Coordination Partners. This initiative is currently being spearheaded by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).
Dr. David Farrell, Principal of the CIMH, which functions as the Chair and climate services provider for the EWISACTs Consortium, presented the LoA for signing to Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA at 62nd Annual Health Research Conference in Georgetown, Guyana. The signing event took place at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesday, April 26 at 10:00 am.“Through this agreement, CARPHA will work with CIMH other Consortium partners to co-develop tailored climate early warning products and services that regional health practitioners can use to better prepare for climate-driven health risks, including mosquito-borne diseases including as dengue, Zika and Chikungunya,” said Dr. Hospedales.
As a member of the Consortium, CARPHA follows in the footsteps of other agencies representing the region’s climate-sensitive sectors. Sectoral partners who have already signed on include the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA).
Dr. Farrell noted, “the CIMH welcomes the formal inclusion of CARPHA into the Consortium of Regional EWISACTS Coordination Partners which significantly enhances this unique strategic partnership that supports the region’s adaptation to extreme weather, increasing climate variability and climate change. Through CARPHA’s participation, a better understanding of how climate directly and indirectly influences regional health will be developed and new joint products and services built to mitigate identified challenges to improve health outcomes leading to a healthier more productive Caribbean.”
The agreement makes the Caribbean the first region globally to officially create and implement a joint commitment between climate-sensitive sectors and a climate services provider to build climate resilience. The multi-sectoral partnership was established through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Programme for Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean (BRCCC Programme), a three-year project made possible through the generous support of the American people and implemented by the CIMH.