Faced with the climate emergency, the medical NGO ALIMA commits
DAKAR/PARIS, January 7, 2021 – ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) has added to its Charter and within its strategic framework the organisation’s commitment to integrate the impact of climate change into its medical projects, to reduce its carbon footprint, and to be transparent with the achieved progress.
Concerned about the consequences of climate change on the lives and health of the populations living in its areas of intervention in sub-Saharan Africa, and taking into account the historical environmental crisis and the scientific consensus on it, ALIMA is making a strong commitment to contribute to the fight against climate change and its consequences for the most vulnerable.
This is why ALIMA has also co-signed a Statement of Commitment on Climate, along with nine other member organisations of the Humanitarian Environment Network, and also joined the Climate Action Accelerator (CAA), an initiative in which it wishes to become a pivotal actor.
Sub-Saharan Africa suffers consequences that are unjustly disproportionate to its level of contribution to global warming
The African continent’s contribution to greenhouse gases is currently very low. But despite being the least contributor to global warming, the impact suffered and its vulnerability, is placing it unfairly at the forefront of climate change.
Working closely with local populations, ALIMA’s humanitarian aid workers, 98% of whom are Africans, are raising concerns about the consequences of the environmental crisis they observe on a daily basis in their communities. Droughts and torrential rains continue to be more frequent and intense, devastating crops, fueling social tensions and causing major population displacements. Additionally, an increase in the number of malnourished people and the recurrence of certain diseases, such as dengue fever and Rift Valley Fever is unfortunately inevitable.
Taking responsibility to protect the environment and continuing to act on behalf of climate change victims
“Climate change will have a massive impact on humanitarian needs in the areas where we work, but it will also force us to rethink the way we operate,” says Dr. Moumouni Kinda, Director of Operations at ALIMA. “We must therefore adopt good practices now to be a responsible actor.”
For ALIMA, this commitment translates into concrete objectives, such as regularly measuring and reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, initiating research projects and partnerships with specialized institutions in Africa to innovate in the areas of malnutrition, urban pollution and vector-borne diseases, and better anticipating humanitarian needs related to climate change.
In line with its alliance model, ALIMA joins the Climate Action Accelerator and becomes a pivotal actor
The Climate Action Accelerator aims to join forces with several leading organizations in the aid sector, to support them in their efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions within a broader environmental approach and to build a community of practice in this area.
Committed to playing an active role in the goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the humanitarian sector, ALIMA will share with the CAA community its experiences and tools to contribute to the search for sustainable solutions and approaches to the environmental crisis and is committed to transparency on the results achieved.
ALIMA will also encourage its partners and stakeholders to promote the actions taken to fight against the climate emergency, and will encourage the mobilization of public and private funds to support them.
“The impact of climate change requires a radical awareness and a change in the way we work, by further strengthening the localization of solutions, actions, and decisions, and by anticipating the increased needs related to these crises,” says Henri Leblanc, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ALIMA. “It is essential to think about emergency humanitarian action and environmental emergencies together.”
Based in Dakar, Senegal, ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) is an international medical NGO committed to a new humanitarian model: providing a response to medical emergencies in Africa using local skills and expertise.
Clémentine Colas, Head of Communications
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Cover photo: Tchintabaraden, Niger. © What Took You So Long? / ALIMA