ICPAC receives Google.org funding through the UN WFP to Enhance Disaster Preparedness in Eastern Africa

29 Apr, 2024 Press Release 54


On April 29, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya: The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) took a significant stride towards bolstering disaster preparedness and response capabilities. Today, the Center announced the reception of support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the implementation of a pioneering project titled "Strengthening Early Warning Systems for Anticipatory Actions." This initiative, aimed at leveraging machine learning to enhance early warning information systems, marks a collaborative effort involving leading weather and climate research institutions, a university, and a humanitarian organization.

The funding provided by WFP will also benefit the Kenya Meteorological Department and Ethiopian Meteorological Institute, aiding in the enhancement of their national and sub-national forecasts. By transforming the quality of early warning information available to communities in disaster-prone regions, the project endeavors to facilitate proactive responses to critical alerts.

Given the exacerbation of natural hazard-induced disasters by climate change, the importance of timely and accurate early warning systems cannot be overstated. Supported by Google.org, this project endeavors to address this pressing need by harnessing cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches. Through the utilization of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, the project aims to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of disaster alerts, empowering communities to take proactive measures to safeguard lives and livelihoods.

Dr. Guleid Artan, Director at the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, highlighting the combination of expertise in weather forecasting, disaster risk reduction, and technological capabilities. He said, “With the involvement of partners such as Google, the University of Oxford, the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute, the Kenya Meteorological Department, and the World Food Programme, the project aspires to revolutionize early warning systems in the IGAD region and enable communities to prepare and act preemptively against impending hazards”.

Initially, the project will focus on pilot implementations in Ethiopia and Kenya, with the lessons learned informing the scaling-up of initiatives across the region. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that vulnerable communities throughout the IGAD region have access to life-saving early warning information and that they can take timely action in the face of impending disasters.

For media interviews and requests, kindly contact:

Paula Machio, +254746511941, paula.machio@igad.int

Emebet Jigssa, +254 748108077, emebet.jigssa@igad.int

Edwin Kiplagat, +254724874765, Edwin.kiplagat@igad.int