With climate variability and climate change influencing the location, frequency, intensity and severity of extreme weather events, the number of early weather warning requests by the humanitarian sector has increased. Increased warning allows for better preparation and response by the sector.
At the global level, an Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has been set up to coordinate and improve delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected people worldwide. Climate information including seasonal forecasts is contributing to IASC’s Early Warning - Early Action report which is used to foster enhanced preparations and early response to crises and emergencies around the world.
In different regions, it is becoming more common for climate information to be provided to support emergency appeals and regional/national humanitarian responses to floods and droughts. A good case study is that of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. Using climate information, they have increased their capacities to better identify communities at risk and structure appropriate climate risk communication, leading to participatory decision making for increased preparation and response.
Contingency plans, risk maps for countries, regional coordination of preparedness for response, have all been improved with the application of seasonal forecasts in some regions (e.g West and Central Africa in 2008 and 2009). Climate services applied to the humanitarian sector is considered among the best practices for disaster risk reduction and adaptation contributing to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (for disaster risk reduction) and the UNFCCC.
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