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UN holds event to advance anticipatory action

09 Sep 2021

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In early July 2020, CERF funds helped aid to reach 220,000 people in Bangladesh before flooding from the Jamuna River hit, demonstrating that anticipatory action reaches more people earlier, faster, and at half the cost of a regular response. © FAO

This morning, the United Nations and the Governments of Germany and the United Kingdom convened a high-level event in New York to advance anticipatory action

The event was opened by the Secretary-General and brought together ministers and senior officials from 100 UN Member States, leaders of international civil society organizations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and executive directors and senior executives from UN entities, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 

The broad participation demonstrated a collective commitment for acting ahead of predictable crises. Pledges and commitments were made to enable a scale-up of anticipatory action through additional financial contributions to pooled funds such as the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, Country-based Pooled Funds, the Start Fund and the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.

In opening remarks at the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, underscored that at least half of all humanitarian crises are foreseeable, and 20 per cent of them are highly predictable. Yet only 1 per cent of crisis funding is pre-arranged.

The event occurred at a key political moment – building on recent G7 commitments on anticipatory action and ahead of COP26 – and recognizing the growing impact of climate change on the severity and frequency of disasters.