It’s time to change the way disasters are managed. Thanks to innovative early warning systems, anticipating risks and timely action is now easier. FAO is helping transform the approach to humanitarian assistance – mitigating and preventing instead of reacting. Acting early strengthens resilience and eases pressure on limited humanitarian resources.
There is evidence that the intensity and frequency of climate-driven natural disasters and conflicts are increasing. Natural disasters now occur nearly five times more often compared to 40 years ago. The impact on local economies, lives and livelihoods has similarly grown.
In some of the worst-hit places, it can seem unrelenting.
One crisis can follow another, every time stripping away at the limited assets of already vulnerable people.
Expanding needs, competing priorities and limited resources mean that new tools are essential.
Interventions must be wise and effective to ensure that the impacts of crises are limited before they can grow into even more costly humanitarian disasters.
The Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) approach consists of three components:
Working with national government and humanitarian, development and scientific partners, FAO monitors risk information systems to inform appropriate early actions. Many countries have existing monitoring mechanisms tracking trends and predicting shocks, however, they are often not linked in a synchronized way to provide a strong signal about an impending risk.
FAO has established a model that brings together all these elements to harness information systems at global, regional and local levels to forecast potential disasters and safeguard critical agriculture and food security assets of the most vulnerable. These early warning systems target a wide variety of risks including droughts, floods, cyclones, harsh winters, conflicts, and animal/plant pests and diseases.