The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Foundation S - The Sanofi Collective, the philanthropic organization of Sanofi, have partnered to launch “Climate Adaptations for Community Health Resilience in Pakistan.” The project will impact over 60,000 people in 30 local communities across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, and is focused on generating and adapting solutions that support access to health services and clean water. This community-led initiative seeks to empower populations at risk of the consequences of climate change in Pakistan to improve the resilience of their health systems.

The 3-year project’s community-driven approach aims to enable people across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take control of their health and wellbeing outcomes in the face of climate change in ways that are most impactful for them. The IRC and community participants will do this through training sessions that focus on the health consequences of climate change, awareness of communicable diseases, menstrual hygiene, and strengthening local health systems. The collaboration will also further amplify ongoing community-driven IRC climate resilient Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) projects, all of which have a central focus on gender equality, diversity and social inclusion.  

Furthermore, the project will work closely with Pakistan’s Department of Health on disease surveillance and early warning systems to enable them to prepare for, monitor and forecast disease outbreaks, and take effective action when they occur. 

This initiative reflects a recent shift in public understanding that the climate crisis is, in large part and numerous ways, also a public health crisis. Globally, climate change has an impact on outbreaks, disease burden, the resiliency and sustainability of health outcomes, the movement and mobility of populations, food security, and the physical infrastructure of health systems. 

In Pakistan, severe flooding in 2022 destroyed nearly 10 million acres of land and had huge  economic implications with damages totaling over $30 billion. During the floods, Pakistan’s health systems were subject to incredible strain – in Sindh province alone, over 90,000 cases of diarrhea were reported in a single day. Dengue fever, and skin and eye infections were also prevalent due to shortages of clean water exacerbating health needs. In addition, over 800 health facilities were damaged. Pakistan is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, with people often uprooted by natural disasters such as floods or drought. Today, as Pakistan recovers from the impact of the floods, it is more important than ever to build the resilience of the country’s health system in the face of climate change. 

“Climate change threatens lives and livelihoods and is an increasing driver of migration, crisis and negative health outcomes, particularly for women and children. In light of this, it is critical that private and public sector organizations partner to shift toward solutions rooted in more forward-thinking, sustainable program design and implementation that better incorporates the contexts where IRC clients live. In Pakistan, our partnership with Foundation S will enable the IRC to empower communities across the country to build resilient health systems,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC

“The recent natural disasters in Pakistan tragically illustrate the devastating consequences of climate change on vulnerable populations, putting lives at risk and additional pressure on already strained health systems. At Foundation S, we are committed to co-building bold, locally-led, and sustainable adaptation solutions to protect communities from the impacts of the climate crisis. Which is why we’re proud to be partnering with the IRC, to strengthen local emergency preparedness and response capacities, and build resilient health systems that protect the people of Pakistan now and for generations for to come,”said Vanina Laurent-Ledru, Director General of Foundation S 

Climate-vulnerable, conflict-affected communities contribute the least to climate change, bear its worst impacts, and yet have been consistently left out of the business-as-usual approach to climate action. For climate-vulnerable communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, “Climate Adaptations for Community Health Resilience in Pakistan” will improve basic health services and build the capacity of local health workers. Together, this will strengthen local level emergency preparedness and response capacity of relevant authorities. 

For humanitarian organizations to adapt to the increasing risk posed by climate change, bold commitments are needed from the private sector. With this new partnership, the IRC and Foundation S hope to provide a model for what works and set an industry standard on how private sector and humanitarian organizations can collaborate to build resilient health systems in climate-affected countries. 


About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 50 countries and in 28 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at and follow the IRC on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.

About Foundation S

Foundation S, the philanthropic organization of Sanofi, aims to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by catalyzing community-based solutions and expanding access to medicines. With a focus on creating healthier futures for generations to come, Foundation S is committed to four key areas: childhood cancer, climate change and its impact on health, humanitarian aid, and neglected tropical diseases.

Foundation S operates as a “think and do tank.” Through the “think tank,” and works with global experts and thought leaders to identify solutions to global health challenges that impact LMICs. Meanwhile, through its “do tank,” the Foundation addresses those challenges with its partners through collective action. To advance the urgent need for action and attention to the impact climate change is having on communities and public health in some of the most vulnerable countries around the world, Foundation S convened the Collective Minds Climate Council in 2023, inclusive of members with broad sectoral representation. Members of the Climate Council serve as advisors and co-advocates in the movement to accelerate and raise awareness about the impact of climate change on health and to accelerate policy change and global financial support for climate adaptation in countries where climate change is already a reality and for those most at risk. 

Media Contacts


Sascha Gill-Chugh | [email protected] 

Foundation S

Victor Rouault | +33 6 70 93 71 40 | [email protected]