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Humanitarian Planning and Response

In the early 2000s a wave of humanitarian reforms were initiated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance using the cluster approach for enhanced coordination among the humanitarian agencies to improve contingency planning to anticipate and better respond to disasters. This has resulted in new opportunities for the utilization of meteorological, hydrological and climate information products and services by humanitarian and disaster risk management agencies, based on the understanding of their institutional structures, planning and operational mechanisms, needs and requirements.




To realize these opportunities, the Commission of Basic Systems (CBS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at its 14th Session (Croatia, April 2009) established a Task Team on “Meteorological Services for Improved Humanitarian Planning and Response” (hereafter referred to as Humanitarian TT). The objective of the Humanitarian TT is to work towards the development of operational capacities to provide meteorological, hydrological and climate information-products and services to humanitarian agencies at international, regional and national levels to support their emergency contingency planning, preparedness and response (See downloadable document: Humanitarian TT Terms of Reference) .


The Humanitarian TT is comprised of experts from three WMO Technical Commissions including the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS), the Commission for Climatology (CCl), and the Commission for Hydrology (CHy) and eight United Nations and international humanitarian agencies including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Programme (UNOSAT), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).


The overall goal of the Humanitarian TT is to develop meteorological, hydrological and climate information products and services from the WMO operational network of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) to the humanitarian agencies to support national and regional contingency planning and response.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Short term: The Humanitarian TT will make recommendations for concrete pilot projects to develop prototype products and services targeted at the needs and requirements of the humanitarian agencies that could be delivered by NMHSs, RSMCs and RCCs. It is expected that such prototypes will be developed and demonstrated as part of WMO disaster risk reduction projects undergoing in a number of regions such as Central America and the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Africa.
  • Long term: Develop a systematic mechanism for identifying and responding to the needs and requirements of the humanitarian agencies with respect to meteorological, hydrological and climate information and services, through the WMO operational network.
  • To date, the Humanitarian TT has held two meetings of which the first included: (i) a brainstorming on meteorological services for improved humanitarian emergency contingency planning and response was held at the WMO headquarters on 17 April 2009 with experts from the Humanitarian Agencies (HAs) and the WMO. The report of the meeting includes some preliminary findings on the needs of HAs for weather and climate information, which has been used to inform the current report. (ii) the First Meeting of the Humanitarian TT held at the WMO headquarters, from 31 August to 2 September 2010.

WMO Meetings and associated websites related to humanitarian planning and response




Final Report

Meeting of The CBS (DPFS-PWS) Task Team on The Provision of Operational Meteorological Assistance to Humanitarian Agencies

Geneva, Switzerland

15-17 July 2013

Meeting of the Task Team on "Meteorological Services for Improved Humanitarian Planning and Response"

Geneva, Switzerland

31 August-2 September 2010


Working-Level Brainstorming Session on Meteorological Services to for Improved Humanitarian Contingency Planning and Response

Geneva, Switzerland

17 April 2009













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