With climate change, natural disasters such as droughts and floods are likely to become both more frequent and more destructive, threatening the food security of already vulnerable people.

Seasonal climate forecasts are a powerful tool to help governments, WFP and their humanitarian partners anticipate and respond faster and more efficiently to these disasters. 

Seasonal Climate Forecasts For Multi-Sector Decision-Making

The EUropean Provision of Regional Impact Assessment on a Seasonal-to-decadal timescale (EUPORIAS) is a four-year research project (November 2012 – October 2016) funded by the European Commission and carried out by a consortium of 24 partners. It aims to improve the use of seasonal climate forecasts for decision-making in six sectors: water, energy, health, transport, food security and agriculture, and tourism. 

WFP: Integrating Seasonal Forecasts And Early Warning Systems

EUPORIAS will enable the World Food Programme (WFP) to work with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture to integrate seasonal climate forecast into Ethiopia’s national food security early warning system known as Livelihoods, Early Assessment and Protection (LEAP).

LEAP:  Projecting People In Need 

The LEAP early warning tool was designed to increase the predictability and timeliness of response to climate-related food crises in Ethiopia.

LEAP uses crop and weather monitoring information to estimate the number of people projected to be in need of early assistance in the face of an impending drought. By integrating seasonal climate forecasts into LEAP, the EUPORIAS project will help increase the timeliness and accuracy of LEAP’s beneficiary projections, thus allowing quicker and better targeted provision of assistance to households. Early response saves lives and money.

Assessing Seasonal Forecasts For Food Security

In addition to the technical task of integrating seasonal forecasts into LEAP, WFP is involved in a number activities as part of the EUPORIAS project, related to assessing and documenting the needs for – and value of –  seasonal forecasts in the food security sector. 

The overall aim is to build a better understanding of how seasonal forecasts are currently used for decision-making in the food security sector, how they could be used more effectively and more widely, and what the added benefits of doing so would be.