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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths video message for “Getting ahead of climatic disasters: Know, Predict, Warn, Act”

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8 November As delivered

Dear friends,

I am pleased to welcome you to this event, organized by OCHA, UNDRR and WMO.

This climate conference is critical.

Humanitarian aid workers are already on the front lines of the climate emergency. We have seen record-breaking floods, droughts, wildfires and heat waves.

But things are going to get a lot worse. The global average temperature is set to increase, with devastating effect.
In 2020, we already had aid appeals for 12 of the 15 countries most vulnerable to and least ready to adapt to climate change.

We now need all the help we can get if we are to reach people in need.

Fortunately, we have tools that can help us predict those needs and act early to prevent suffering.

Together with our partners, OCHA has shown that anticipatory action works.

In 2020, we helped more than 200,000 people prepare and protect themselves before peak flooding hit Bangladesh’s Jamuna River. This was because we were able to analyse the forecast, anticipate and act early.

We are providing US$140 million to cover similar efforts in other countries. But we will need additional funds to scale up those efforts.

All of us must ensure that aid is as anticipatory as possible and only as reactive as necessary.

We cannot fail the people we serve. The cost is too high.

I wish you all the best in your discussions today.

Thank you.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.