Sub-regional Workshop on Climate Change Impacts on Migration and Health in Host Communities and on Temporary Contractual Workers in the Gulf

Kuwait City, Kuwait – the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the auspices of H.E. Sheikh H.E. Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, is hosting a two-day workshop on the interlinkages between climate change, migration and health, and their impacts on host communities and temporary contractual workers in the Gulf countries.   

Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Labor (or equivalent government institution) from across the Gulf countries, will come together alongside the UN system and stakeholders, including academia, the private sector, civil society organization representatives, diplomatic missions from countries of origin, among others, to discuss good practices, challenges, lessons learned and opportunities on addressing climate-induced risks on occupational health among host societies and temporary contractual workers, in Kuwait City on 25-26 September 2023.  

The workshop aims at providing a platform for participants to deepen understanding of the health impacts of climate change both for host communities and temporary contractual workers in the sub-region, to exchange initiatives and good practices of the measures to respond to vulnerabilities arising from climate-induced occupational health risks on these groups, as well as to identify key areas of intervention and action in the lead-up to COP 28.  

“The link between climate change and health is undeniable and multifaceted. The escalating and dire impacts of climate change on health transcend borders and touch the very essence of human well-being,” stated IOM MENA Regional Director, Othman Belbeisi during the opening remarks session at the workshop, at the UN House in Kuwait. 

“This workshop constitutes a timely opportunity to promote partnerships and accelerated action by all key role players. Their varied expertise and knowledge will undoubtedly help us deliberate and promote evidence-based policy formulation and programme planning for the benefit of our communities while ensuring no one is left behind,” he added.  

The workshop constitutes a paramount opportunity to developing a set of key recommendations to feed into the upcoming discussions at the 28th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai.  

Interactive sessions will be held to build the capacity of policy makers and stakeholders to discuss various occupational health impacts of climate change, the consequences for host societies and temporary contractual workers, as well as innovative and actionable recommendations that might be replicated across the sub-region and beyond.   

Health impacts of climate change are gaining increasing attention in the Gulf sub-region as it is among the world’s most vulnerable areas to climate change, with all six countries’ being classified as extremely high-water stress countries, vulnerable to extreme temperatures and heat stress. In the Gulf sub-region, health impacts of climate change affect both the host societies and temporary contractual workers as the sub-region is a major destination of temporary contractual workers, predominantly from South Asia but also from Africa and Southeast Asian countries.  

According to WHO, climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, which is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year globally between 2030 and 2050. Furthermore, the direct damage costs to health are estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030.  

Despite challenges, this landscape offers a unique opportunity to deepen understanding of the interlinkages of climate change, migration and health, exchange initiatives and foster collaboration on the interlinkages through whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches.   

The workshop is funded by IOM’s internal Migration Resource Allocation Committee (MIRAC) as part of its project “Strengthening Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Risk Reduction Programme Portfolio in MENA”.   

For more media enquiries and information, please contact:   

Mohammedali Abunajela (@AbunajelaMA), IOM Spokesperson and Regional Media and Public Information Officer, Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, email:    


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth