Early action gets a boost with launch of new Anticipation Hub

A woman in Mozambique stands in front of debris and collapsed houses that were destroyed by Cyclone Idai in March 2019

A woman in Mozambique stands in front of debris and collapsed houses that were destroyed by Cyclone Idai in March 2019

Photo: IFRC/Corrie Butler

Acting ahead of disasters reduces losses and suffering, and protects more lives and livelihoods – and now humanitarians and other actors have a new knowledge exchange platform that can help them take their programmes to scale.

Anticipation Hub was created by the German Red Cross, IFRC and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre with funding support from the German Federal Foreign Office.

It is designed as a one-stop-shop for knowledge exchange, learning and guidance on anticipatory action, and already has more than 58 partners across the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, universities, research institutes, NGOs, UN agencies, governments and network initiatives.

IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain described the need to prioritise anticipatory action as “a moral obligation”.

Mr Chapagain said: “With the right early warning systems in place, we have proven that acting early and working with communities ahead of a disaster reduces losses and suffering. We have seen this work first-hand in In Uganda, Togo, Peru, Ecuador, Mongolia and Bangladesh.

“Thanks to the pioneering work of German Red Cross and the Climate Centre there are now 31 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies developing forecast-based financing as an anticipatory action approach.

“IFRC is committed to scale up our Forecast-based Action through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. We will do this by investing in National Society capacities to reach more people, cover more places and expand this approach to more types of hazards.”

The Hub aims to support and empower these actors to jointly enable effective anticipatory humanitarian action in practice, at greater pace and scale, to reduce loss and suffering of communities ahead of disasters.

The online platform includes features such as an interactive global map highlighting anticipatory action related activities on a country by country basis, a centralised database of project reports, publications and methodologies, as well as an overview of different networks, forums and working groups that are facilitating anticipatory action at the global, regional and local levels.