About the project

Action plan

The German Government supports an innovative approach to create an anticipatory humanitarian system that reacts to increased risk of climate extremes – before a disaster actually happens.

Climate risks nowadays call for innovative solutions in order to use scarce resources more efficiently and effectively. Weather-related hazards can be predicted with increasing accuracy; climate researchers and weather experts are able to forecast the probability of extreme weather events from several days up to six months in advance. Why not to use the window between a forecast and extreme weather for implementing humanitarian actions, ultimately scaling up preparedness before the potential disaster happens?

Based on this, the idea emerged of an Action Plan for Humanitarian Adaption to Climate Change, coordinated by the German Red Cross (GRC) and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. Germanys’ Federal Foreign Office wishes to establish an “anticipatory humanitarian system”. Forecast-based financing is an innovative approach using the scientific data to indicate elevated risks and then release humanitarian funding for actions before a potential disaster.

German Red Cross and World Food Programme are therefore testing the approach in seven high risk countries, including Bangladesh, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines and Peru.

To fulfil the objectives of this Action Plan, the following activities are planned:

  • dialogue platform in Geneva to enable discourse between scientists, policy-makers, and humanitarian actors is taking place twice a year
  • Elaborate a general methodology for climate risk analysis and conduct climate risk analyses in selected pilot countries together with Welthungerhilfe.
  • Improve extreme-weather forecasts and identify geographically specific early-warning indicators (thresholds) and preparedness measures (standard operating procedures) in the pilot countries
  • Build up networks on national level (in pilot countries) to get operational protocols validated and establishedIncorporate results from the Nansen Initiative
  • Develop innovative financing mechanisms beyond conventional emergency assistance
  • Operationalize and test this anticipatory humanitarian system 

Dialogue Platform

This process requires the combined efforts of humanitarian actors as well as climate scientists and meteorologists, fostering collaboration to tackle the humanitarian dimensions of climate change.

The implementation of the Action Plan will take place in cooperation with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC), as well as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Welthungerhilfe is a partner for the implementation of Climate Risk Analysis and other components.

What is FBF?

Forecast-based financing (FBF) releases humanitarian funding based on forecast information for planned activities which reduce risks, enhance preparedness and response, and make disaster risk management overall more effective.

A humanitarian agency and stakeholders like meteorological services and communities at risk agree on selected actions that are worth carrying out once a forecast reaches a certain threshold of probability. Then each action is allocated a budget to be activated when a forecast is received.

about fbf

Regular preparedness is also designed to anticipate potential disasters, but is based on the average level of risk. Forecast-based financing allows humanitarian agencies to scale up preparedness when science indicates the risk is elevated, as indicated by the early warning.

Dialogue platform


DP group photoA new dialogue platform, under the IFRC’s umbrella, gathers biannually meteorologists, climate scientists, humanitarian actors and donors to work on scientific topics in the humanitarian context, improving the use of weather and climate data.

The platforms’ overall goal is to develop a methodology for forecast-based financing as a response tothe challenges of a changing climate, together with partner agencies and pilot countries. Experience from current pilots by the WFP and the Red Cross Red Crescent (National Societies and theClimate Centre) is blended at the Dialogue Platform with scientific expertise to fine-tune the work.


Alexandra Rüth
Climate Change Adaptation,
German Red Cross:

Twitter @AlexandraRuetha