Junior Officer for Environmental Health and Climate Change

  • Contract
  • Dhaka
  • Posted 1 week ago

UNV - United Nations Volunteers

Details

Mission and objectives

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.
UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress.
UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a “first call for children” and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families.
UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation, and those with disabilities.
UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care.
UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.
UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social and economic development of their communities.
UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Context

The UN Volunteer supports the Health Specialist in planning, monitoring, and reporting on the environmental health and climate change programme. The environmental health and climate change programme is part of UNICEF’s Healthy Environments for Healthy Children’s Global Programme Framework.
Tragically, one in four children who die before their fifth birthday do so because of unhealthy environments. Lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and other toxic metals impair children’s healthy development. Lead damages the brain of babies and children under the age of five years, causing them lifelong neurological, cognitive, and physical impairment. Around 35 million children in Bangladesh are affected by lead poisoning according to the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation. Informal recycling, unsafe burning of e-waste and medical waste releases toxicants into the air and community. Several of widely used chemicals can be damaging to the health of mothers, children and infants. These include highly hazardous pesticides, asbestos, benzene, dioxins and PCBs, excess fluoride and additional chemicals from household products. These toxic chemicals affect not only children, but also affect pregnant women and the developing fetus, causing miscarriage, still birth and preterm birth.
Globally, Bangladesh is the seventh most affected country by extreme weather events. Heat stress and other consequences of climate change affect children and pregnant women disproportionately. Many children in Bangladesh live in areas that experience multiple, overlapping climate and environmental hazards. UNICEF is working with the government, academia, development partners and private sector to address environmental health issues and climate change in Bangladesh through the Healthy Environments for Healthy Children programme. UNICEF is also supporting the government to conduct the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in 2024 which will include heavy metal measurements in blood of children and pregnant women/lactating mothers for a nationally representative data to inform policy decisions and actions.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Health Specialist who leads the Environmental health, Climate change and emergency preparedness and response programmes, the UN Volunteer as part of the health team will undertake the following tasks:
• Provide support to the UNICEF health team in the development and implementation of environmental health and climate change program, focusing on mitigation of heavy metal pollution, heat stress, air pollution, and climate change:
1) Participate in health section monthly review meetings.
2) Assist in drafting meeting minutes internally in UNICEF and externally with partners with guidance from supervisor.
3) Support development of a programme implementation tracking sheet using excel to facilitate timely monitoring and action.
4) Assist in the planning and organization of workshops, including preparation of logistics for successful implementation.
5) Assist the team in planning at national level as well as implementation of heavy metal measurement as part of the MICS 2024.

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