The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The arrangement proceeds with EPA-WHO coordinated effort on a wide scope of explicit and crosscutting climate and health problems, especially air pollution, water and sanitation, children’s health, and health risks due to climate change.
The updated agreement includes exciting new activities for crosscutting issues including infrastructure and environmental equity.
“I am proud to renew EPA’s commitment to working with the WHO to protect the public from the health risks of pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The United States is committed to working closely with WHO, a global leader in protecting human health for all, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of vulnerable and underserved communities. As we face new challenges from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, this collaboration with the WHO has never been more critical.”
EPA’s main goal to protect human health and the climate completely lines up with WHO’s charge to lead global efforts to promote good health for everybody, and all over. WHO estimates that 24% of all global deaths, and 28% of deaths among children under five, are linked to the environment, and people in low- and middle-income countries bear the greatest disease burden.
As indicated by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General,
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the intimate links between humans and our environment. “Addressing those links is essential to prevent diseases, including future pandemics, to promote health, drive the global recovery and reduce health risks associated with climate change, especially for the most vulnerable. WHO looks forward to continuing its longstanding collaboration with US EPA, and to tapping EPA’s expertise to advance our mission to support countries in meeting the challenges of environmental health.”
EPA and WHO have a long history of cooperation on the most squeezing general medical problems within recent memory. More than thirty years, this participation has included work on climate change, indoor and outdoor air quality, children’s environmental health, chemicals and toxics, water and sanitation, and quantifying the environmental burden of disease.
Over the course of the next five years, EPA and WHO will zero in on tending to the health impacts of environmental change. Progressing endeavors will address numerous ecological determents of health impacted by environmental change, including clean air and safe drinking water. The Joint effort will also keep on zeroing in on ensuring children by reducing openness to poisonous substances, specifically toxic paint.
In this MOU, EPA and WHO have set up new areas of participation to progress shared needs around crosscutting issues including tending to the lopsided effects of ecological difficulties on underserved and weak networks.
Protecting these populations and increasing access to decision-making is at the core of Administrator Regan’s vision for the EPA. WHO’s Triple Billion targets outline an ambitious plan for the world to achieve good health for all. Both EPA and WHO prioritize using science as the basis for policies and programs to address environmental health impacts.
WHO also overseas global coordination efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA is also contributing to COVID-19 response with efforts to register disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2 and researching into antimicrobial products and studies of ways to disinfect personal protective equipment so that it could be reused.
EPA has worked to early notice systems by checking wastewater for the presence of SARS-Cov-2. The two agencies will keep on propelling science to react to the current pandemic and be more ready for all biothreats in the future.