Joint launch of Capacity Building Project on Drought Preparedness by UN agencies

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The UNCCD, The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), on 12 March have jointly launched a project on capacity-building to support national drought management policies. The initiative kicked off on the sidelines of the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policies in Geneva.

"This UN-Water initiative is very important in terms of bringing together various partners and expertise within the United Nations system to address the over-arching issue of developing capacities to support national drought management policies, Director of the UNW-DPC Dr. Reza Ardakanian said.

“We hope to encourage actors to collaborate and make a real difference at the national level, so we can move from merely reacting to drought to managing drought in a proactive manner. As a programme office of UN-Water, I am very excited about having a part in this new initiative."

“We are excited that all four UN institutions have signed the framework of cooperation today. This initiative shows our collective commitment to support drought-prone countries in capacity development and moving from crisis to risk management by developing their National Drought Management Policies (NDMP)” said Sergio Zelaya, Coordinator of UNCCD Policy and Advocacy Unit.

The initiative aims to enable national institutions and ministries to assess their current national disaster and drought management systems and familiarize with strategies and tools to develop risk based national drought policies. The project will be carried out through a series of four regional workshops in Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean starting from 2013, followed by an international wrap-up conference in 2014.

WMO, UNCCD and FAO and partners are holding a High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy from 11-15 March 2013 in Geneva to focus on drought preparedness and management policies. The meeting brings together world leaders, government decision-makers, development agencies, and leading scientists and researchers.

For more information about the capacity-development project please visit