UNDP partners with the EU on new Health, Environment and Pollution Action

September 6, 2021

The three-year project will contribute to a safe and clean environment and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNDP is partnering with the EU on a new health and pollution project in Ethiopia that will advance sustainability in the health and environmental sector.

The partnership is part of a global EU support for a multi-party engagement on UNDP health, environment, and pollution action.

The three-year project will contribute to a safe and clean environment and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Unsafe environment is said to account for 13 million deaths globally every year according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to UNEP, worldwide, low- and middle-income countries, like Ethiopia, bear the brunt of pollution-related illnesses, accounting for nearly 92% of pollution-related deaths. Until recently, the impact of pollution and general environmental factors has not been factored in the causes for Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs). However, the data is growing and highlighting this important link, with 5.6 million NDC deaths said to be caused by air pollution. The American CDC is also pointing to the severe impacts of the COVID19 to NDCs, bringing the environment-health linkage into the picture.

UNDP is partnering with the WHO to help countries to develop investment cases and conduct legal environmental assessments to address NDCs and multi-sectorial health issues.

“The fight against pollution is not only to combat health and environmental threats. It is also a fight for fairness and equality” according to Cleophas Torori, UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative, who noted that, “Pollutions are also a development concern. Most non-communicable diseases result from exposure to pollution. That is why investments in a clean environment will also help us advance the 2030 sustainable development agenda.”

In the first year, the project will kick off with the following key activities:

  • Review of existing national air pollution status and development of National Air quality Monitoring Roadmap
  • Develop legal environmental assessment instruments
  • Develop investment case assessment instruments
  • Enhance NCD coordination mechanism including it structure

Read more about UNDP's global partnership with WHO, UNEP and UNICEF on health and the environment