The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) has formally joined the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), a global initiative that brings together key actors across the climate, humanitarian, and development sectors.
ICPAC provides climate services to 11 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa – the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states plus Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. It aims to build resilience in a region deeply affected by climate change and extreme weather.
As the World Meteorological Organization’s Regional Climate Centre in East Africa, ICPAC will contribute its expertise on climate forecasting, anticipatory action, and multi-hazard early warnings to support REAP Partners in scaling up action to make 1 billion people safer from disaster by 2025.
“Regional organisations such as IGAD and ICPAC can offer a much-needed link between the global and national contexts”, said Ben Webster, Head of the REAP Secretariat. “They not only help to translate global commitment and policy decisions into action on the ground but support their Member States by boosting capacity and enabling shared learning, bringing down the barriers to scaling up early action”.
In October 2021, ICPAC launched a disaster operation situation room to monitor major hazards and provide early warnings in near-real-time for drought, floods, extreme rainfall, food insecurity, and pests such as desert locusts.
ICPAC is currently working on a standard operating procedure to enable all actors in the region to deploy funding promptly whenever climate events occur. For example, climate predictions are becoming more and more reliable, and emergency funding will be automatically released when the predictability of the forecast reaches 70% and above.
“We cannot, and we should not wait until disasters strike to formulate our response”, said Dr Ahmed Amdihun, Programme Coordinator for Disaster Risk Management at ICPAC. “We know that East Africa is prone to climate extremes, so we must stand ready to act at every step of the weather forecast because this is when we can make a real difference, save lives and protect livelihoods”.
ICPAC is uniquely positioned to support all IGAD Member States in transforming and scaling up their approaches. A Regional Roadmap for Forecast based Anticipatory Action and Financing will be presented to IGAD’s Member States in 2022 and adopted by IGAD’s management to spearhead the shift from disaster response to proactive, anticipatory action.
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