Forecast-based Action

In the face of rising global challenges, simply responding to crises is no longer enough. Forecast-based Action by the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (FbA by the DREF) is our dedicated funding mechanism that helps National Societies take early action before disasters strike.

FbA by the DREF is a fast, reliable and efficient way of getting money to Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in anticipation of disasters. It helps them save lives and reduce, or even prevent, the damage and losses caused by disasters on communities.

FbA by the DREF uses a forecast-based financing approach. Based on meteorological forecasts and risk analysis, we agree funding to National Societies for early action in advance of a predicted hazard. Money is then released automatically when pre-defined forecast thresholds or ‘triggers’ are met.

How it works

Australian Red Cross staff look at a map of Victoria to determine where people may need to be evacuated from due to the risk of bushfires

Defining triggers

FbA by the DREF uses science and research to define triggers for funding based on: detailed risk analysis of natural hazards; assessments of the impacts of previous disasters; vulnerability data; and weather forecasts.

A volunteer with Eswatini Red Cross plans a cash distribution for over 2000 people in March 2020

Selection of actions

National Societies define in advance the actions they will take in response to these different triggers. Actions are outlined in a formal plan called an Early Action Protocol (see below). This plan helps them to be prepared and act quickly to reduce the humanitarian impacts of an event.

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society volunteers in Jamalpur distribute cash payments to communities in advance of predicted floods based on forecast information to help them cope and minimise any impact on their lives and livelihoods

Financing mechanism

We release funding automatically when a trigger occurs. This money enables National Societies to take action quickly in advance of the disaster’s impact.

FbA dashboard

Watch: Forecast-based Action by the DREF

Early Action Protocols (EAPs)

Early Action Protocols are formal plans produced by National Societies. They outline the early actions they need to take when a specific hazard is forecasted to impact communities.

They last for five years and include the following:

  • Pre-positioning of the stock needed to enable early actions
  • Readiness activities so the National Society is prepared and on standby to respond
  • Pre-agreed early action activities designed to save lives and livelihoods once a hazard is forecasted

Any National Society can develop an Early Action Protocol for a specific hazard and apply to the FbA by the DREF. For more information, download the below brochure or contact FbA Senior Officer Nazira Lacayo.

Watch: What is forecast-based financing?