Building resilience and food security through tailored climate information

Climate risks are among the key drivers of hunger in the world. Many countries and vulnerable people often lack access to basic climate and weather information, such as reliable forecasts, to properly manage the climate-related risks they face. With climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters such as floods and droughts, it is becoming more urgent to support vulnerable countries and people to have access to relevant climate information.
 
Climate services help vulnerable communities address these challenges by providing the information they need to make well-informed decisions. Timely, easy to understand and act-upon climate information can help communities take the necessary actions to better anticipate and prepare for these changing risks, adapt to a changing climate and strengthen their resilience and food security
 
Examples of climate services include weather forecasts and early warning systems to guide people on how to prepare for a major storm, information on migration routes for livestock during a drought, sharing ideas on better food storage options for an unusually wet season, or on suggested crops to plant in drier long-term conditions under climate change. 

WFP experience in climate services

WFP has developed extensive experience in using, developing and translating climate information. Our emergency preparedness and support response team collaborates with world-renowned research and modelling centres to provide the latest immediate and seasonal weather hazard information to support government and humanitarian actors in deciding appropriate action.
 
WFP’s food security analysts translate climate and weather information into early warnings of drought events and potential production shortfalls. Coupled with detailed analyses of household vulnerability, WFP and partners use this information to assess how droughts or floods will affect people’s food security to ensure an early response.

WFP climate service innovations

The GFCS Climate Services for Action Africa Project - WFP is an active member of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), which provides coherent, global support to the management of climate risks in key development sectors, including food security and agriculture.  In Malawi and Tanzania, WFP is part of the GFCS Climate Services for Action Africa Project, a multi-partner pilot through which tailored weather and climate information is being provided to rural communities to help them enhance their food security and livelihoods. Climate advisories are reaching these communities, farmers and pastoralists through a number or activities, including radio programmes, mobile phone (SMS and audio) and the training of agricultural extension workers on how to interpret and communicate relevant climate information to rural audiences.
 
The Livelihoods, Early Warning and Protection project (LEAP) - In Ethiopia, WFP has been working with the Government on the “LEAP” software which uses agro-meteorological data to trigger food assistance in case of a drought so that families receive support before they are forced to take desperate measures. LEAP has also been used by WFP’s partners to help pastoralists identify fresh grazing areas for their livestock, using vegetation maps.
 
R4 Rural Resilience Initiative - Climate information is used to help determine weather index insurance payouts in case of drought in our R4 Initiative in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia.
 
FoodSECuRE -  Climate information is also used to trigger contingent funding for early action through our FoodSECuRE Facility, a ground-breaking tool that release funds based on a forecast before a disaster occurs. FoodSECuRE also ensures funds are available post-disaster, so that resilience-building activities continue over time.