Devex’s Raj Kumar sat down with several leaders to discuss how the climate crisis intersects with their work: Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Sophie Otiende, CEO of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery; and Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity.
Together, they explore the interconnections between climate change and the issues they are focused on, as well as the urgency for action.
Sands describes a visit to northern Nigeria with Muhammad Ali Pate, the country’s minister of health and social welfare, where they saw “a shocking number” of children who were malnourished and severely ill with malaria.
“It’s a good example of how the climate change interaction is sort of multifactorial,” he said, explaining how climate change is harming agricultural productivity, leading to malnutrition, and changing the epidemiology of malaria.
“The combined impact of that is more severely ill children and more deaths of small children,” Sands said. “That’s the kind of thing we’re still trying to understand. But my view is we need to act while we learn. We can’t wait for a perfect answer; we need to be doing more in anticipation of how we see this unfolding.”
Listen to the episode to hear more from Sands, Atiende, and Reckord, who joined Kumar for the Davos Dispatch podcast, recorded from WEF in Davos, Switzerland.