Background Note: Strengthening the IASC Approach to Early Warning and Anticipatory Action


The climate crisis is already posing a significant risk to the most vulnerable communities, and disproportionately affects the most food-insecure people around the world, as we have seen from the floods in Pakistan to extreme drought in the Horn of Africa. Climate disasters and extreme weather events can rapidly become emergencies, with high economic and human costs. As climate change increases the risks of resource scarcity, displacement, and economic disruptions, it creates a longer-term trend of more compound and cascading humanitarian crises and more protracted and costly emergency responses. These challenges emphasize the need to incorporate more proactive and forward-looking approaches to manage risks and prevent losses and damages. Against this backdrop, approaches that are linking early warning systems with capabilities for anticipatory action have gained significant momentum in recent years demonstrating impact in the field, that leveraging scientific improvements in hazard forecasting can prevent predictable natural hazards from turning into humanitarian disasters.

Hence there is a need to consider how to leverage early warning and anticipatory action mechanisms by linking them to the existing humanitarian menu of tools and coordination mechanisms ensuring they support, rather than burden, country teams. This background note outlines some of the key issues and recommendations for utilizing early warnings and anticipatory actions for the Deputies Group consideration and decision making.

Source: World Food Programme