Disaster Early Warning Systems for Early Action based on Forecast based Financing (FbF)
It is a fact that the IGAD region is recurrently faced with humanitarian/disaster challenges caused by natural and human-made hazards. Consequently, these problems inflict heavy economic and social losses in the region and their effects include widespread human casualties and suffering resulting in large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons. This is an obstacle to sustainable economic development and poses a dilemma for long-term solutions unless practically tackled.
The most common hazards that cause disaster in the region include drought, floods, outbreaks of diseases, and conflicts. Flood is the most recurrent one in terms of frequency but drought could be the most negatively impacting in terms of area coverage and size of the affected population.
For the past four years ICPAC, through the Forecast-based Preparedness Action (ForPAc) project has championed the need to shift from response to Anticipatory in terms of disaster. This has been demonstrated through enhanced stakeholder engagements with Disaster risk managers in Kitui County of Kenya. Despite the efforts, the existing early warning systems (EWS) are improving but remain insufficient to match the needs for decision-making and action. Considerable efforts are needed to move from disaster response to strengthening preparedness and anticipatory early actions before the disasters strike to prevent and/or mitigate the impacts and losses. ForPAc, a pilot project has pioneered the development of forecasts for FDA in the region. The project aimed at improving forecasts of extreme rainfall, flooding, and drought, to co-produce new forecast products over ‘seamless’ lead times (days to months) and improve the use of forecasts by integrating into operational Early Warning Systems (EWS) using a systematic anticipatory approach of Forecast based Action with the stake-holders in Kitui County of Kenya.