Note that this RFP is being launched by multiple partners, across variable geographies, topic areas, and funding levels. Please review the requirements for each RFP to determine your eligibility. The individual RFPs are listed separately here. If you are eligible for multiple RFPs, please choose the RFP that most closely aligns with your proposed project.
Climate change threatens hard-earned global health and development progress and puts the health, well-being, and livelihoods of future generations in jeopardy, with a special impact on women. The 2015 Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals signaled a promise from global leaders to act - to limit global average temperature rise to within 1.5°C by 2040 and prevent the worst health and development effects of climate change. While no one is safe from these risks, the people whose health and wellbeing are being harmed first and worst by the climate crisis are also the ones who contribute least to its causes, and who are least able to protect themselves and their families against it - namely people in low-income and disadvantaged countries and communities. In low-income settings, rising heat, extreme weather events, changes in precipitation patterns, climate-related undernutrition, shifts in duration and climate-event-driven surges of malaria and other vector borne diseases such as malaria, foodborne and water-borne diseases, and increased potential for the emergence of novel diseases damage already weak primary health care systems and community structures for health. This compromises accessibility, availability, provision, and uptake of essential health services for the most vulnerable populations. Climate change can also disproportionately affect the health and financial well-being of women and girls: extreme heat increases the incidences of stillbirth, the rampant spread of vector-borne diseases worsens maternal and neonatal outcomes, and gender disparities amplified by climate change can decrease the women's share of economic agricultural gains. Those same changes in climate and weather also negatively impact all aspects of agricultural activities, a major source of income for those in low-income settings.
Catalytic research and development (R&D) as well as innovations to scale the impact of existing green technologies are essential to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero and address the unprecedented health, agricultural and environmental challenges posed by climate change, which have an outsized impact on women. It is crucial to understand the emerging problems in health and agriculture, either directly triggered by climate change, or as a result of disruptions (e.g., operational) downstream of crises created by climate change. Consequently, there is an urgent need to invest in creative solutions to help vulnerable populations adapt and build their resilience to the existing and future climate related challenges impacting health and agriculture and build alternative livelihoods. This work will involve making those most affected, especially women, major stakeholders in discussions about how new climate resistant and adaptive innovations will be deployed, as well as giving them a deliberate choice and advantage in the creation of new economic opportunities that result from these investments.
In recent years, global leaders, philanthropies, and private investors have begun committing significant resources to climate change mitigation R&D. However, more is needed to unite partners across sectors and accelerate innovations addressing challenges at the intersections of climate, health, gender, and agriculture, particularly for underserved regions and groups.
The Grand Challenges family of initiatives seeks to source and seed innovations and accelerate the development of transformational solutions. To this end, Grand Challenges (GC) partners including GC Africa (Science for Africa Foundation), GC Brazil (Ministry of Health of Brazil), GC Ethiopia (Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI)), GC India (Department of Biotechnology of India), and GC Rwanda (National Council for Science and Technology), along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Pasteur Network, and supported by Wellcome, Foundation S-the Sanofi Collective, and the Rockefeller Foundation are launching this request for proposals (RFP) to identify and support promising innovations.