Early Warning Early Action: What's New?

Meeting or Conference
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters (FAO)
12 Oct 2017

This webinar is the first event of a mini-series on Forecast-based Financing. It will present the latest developments in FAO's Early Warning Early Action work, including:

  • The Global Early Warning - Early Action quarterly update covering the period October to December 2017 to highlight major disaster risks to food security and agriculture;

  • The latest EWEA country level work including the brand new EWEA Country Toolkit initiative, the Sudan and Pacific pilots and the case of the Mongolia dzud;

  • The cost effectiveness of Early Action: key findings from a Kenya case study; and

  • Partnerships and advocacy: what is happening at Inter Agency level and in the more broad international community with regards to FbF?

Evidence shows that the frequency and intensity of climate-driven natural disasters and conflicts is increasing. Natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often compared to 40 years ago, with great costs to local economies, livelihoods and lives. Expanding needs, competing priorities and scarce resources globally mean that new tools are needed to ensure smart, effective investments to help attenuate the impact of disasters before they occur.

The international community has formally committed to moving progressively towards a more ‘anticipatory’ approach in humanitarian assistance, with its most recent endorsement at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). In the lead up to the WHS, both the UN Secretary General and the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing stressed the critical importance to shift the focus from response to prevention and mitigation and to adapt financing modalities accordingly.

Acting early before a disaster is critical: it can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks as well as protecting longer term development gains by increasing the resilience of local communities over time. A growing body of evidence also supports the cost effectiveness of this approach.

FAO’s Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) links forecasts to anticipatory actions to lessen the impact of disasters. It focuses on consolidating available forecasting information and putting plans in place to make sure FAO acts when a warning is at hand.

At global level, FAO EWEA provides a quarterly forward looking report (Global Early Warning Early Action Report) which flags the main risks to agriculture and food security while providing recommendations on early actions. This analysis is based on information provided by existing FAO corporate and joint multi-agency information and early warning systems, mainly:

  • the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS)

  • the Food Chain Crisis and Emergency Prevention System (FCC-EMPRES)

  • the Integrated Food Security Pahse Classification (IPC)

At country level, EWEA systems are being piloted in a number of countries (Paraguay, Madagascar, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Pacific, Sudan) with the best practices and technical knowledge being collected in an EWEA Country toolkit. The country level activities can be funded through the Early Action Fund. The FAO Early Action Fund set up with the specific purpose of allowing country offices to rapidly access financial resources to be able to act while it is still possible to mitigate or prevent disasters.

To attend, please register online.

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