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Climate extremes are a key driver of food insecurity. More frequent and intense floods, droughts and storms account for up to 90 percent of natural hazards worldwide. At the same time, the climate crisis is intersecting and compounding other drivers of hunger, including conflict and economic downturns.  To successfully manage these interlocking problems and avert cascading humanitarian disasters, traditional humanitarian response systems need to evolve from repetitive crisis response to forward-looking risk management.

One of the most promising and innovative programmes to manage climate-related risks and prevent them from turning into disasters is Forecast-based Financing (FbF).  Using seasonal and weather forecasts, this approach triggers anticipatory humanitarian action and pre-positioned financing before an extreme weather event hits vulnerable populations.

Anticipatory action allows governments, communities and families to take action days, weeks and sometimes even months before a climate shock occurs, mitigating its impact on food security, lives and livelihoods. The World Food Programme (WFP)’s FbF programme was established in 2015. Since then, FbF programmes expanded to 19 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, where we work with governments and a diverse group of partners – including humanitarian agencies, NGOs, academia and others – to build robust operational systems for anticipatory action in the face of both slow and fast-onset hazards. 

We are committed to collaborating with partners to scale Forecast-based Financing and anticipatory actions programmes so the international aid system can ensure communities receive humanitarian aid days and even months before climate shocks hit; reach more people with fewer financial and human resources; and empower communities to effectively anticipate, prepare for, and recover from, climate shocks.

For more information, contact: climatechange@wfp.org

WFP's Forecast-based Financing

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Success stories

Bangladesh

WFP has successfully implemented anticipatory humanitarian assistance working closely with national government and partners, including ahead of the severe monsoon floods that devastated vulnerable communities in the country's north-east in 2020. With the FbF support, assisted populations were able to move to safer areas, buy essential supplies including food and medicine, invest in shelter strengthening and protect their valuable assets. In fact, an impact evaluation by the Center for Disaster Protection (CDP) found that WFP's Forecast-based Financing programme had a substantial positive impact on the beneficiaries' food security, asset loss and damage, and overall wellbeing.

Philippines

WFP, together with provincial and municipal governments, helped vulnerable families prepare better for and recover more quickly from Typhoons, including in 2019 through the distribution of multi-purpose cash transfers days before Typhoon Tisoy made landfall.

Nepal

WFP and the Government implemented a FbF project aimed at bridging the gap between early warnings and anticipatory actions for floods in the 14 most disaster-prone districts of the Terai region. As part of the effort to build evidence and analyse the benefits of investing in forecast-based anticipatory action in Nepal and other disaster-prone countries, a return on investment analysis was commissioned. This report presents the study's main results, which confirm that the FbF modality offers a process to limit damages caused by a natural hazard on vulnerable people and assets, saving a significant amount of money in the humanitarian response and recovery.