GloFAS triggers pre-disaster humanitarian action
To prevent waterborne diseases (e.g. dysentery) brought on by floods, the Red Cross distributed preparedness items to households in flood-prone villages 300 km north-east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala in early November. This is the first time that the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has used a Preparedness Fund to trigger pre-disaster action based on a scientific forecast of flood risk.
The humanitarian action was based on a forecast of rising water levels in the Teso area - especially in Amemia parish - where almost 5 000 preparedness items were distributed. The non-food items were procured under ‘forecast-based financing’ with the support of the German government through the German Red Cross (GRC).
Forecast-based financing (FBF) is a new concept in humanitarian aid whereby humanitarian funding is released based on forecast information for planned activities which reduce risks, enhance preparedness and response, and make disaster risk management more effective overall.
The GloFAS forecast used in Uganda was verified by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) and the country’s Hydrological Department. According to weather experts at the UNMA, Uganda has experienced the heaviest rainfall in 50 years since the beginning of November.
The Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre’s Senior Climate Specialist, Erin Coughlan, added that the evidence from Uganda will inform development of FBF pilot projects in 15 countries around the world that are coordinated by the GRC in cooperation with national societies and the UN World Food Programme and that aim to replicate the approach.
Image: A car drives through a flooded road at the Lugogo Bypass in Kampala. © Stephen Otage , Copyright: Daily Monitor/Monitor Online http://www.monitor.co.ug
By Peter Salamon Nov. 24, 2015, 12:13 p.m.