A new UNDP Early Warning Systems Program in Africa aims to help countries plan for, respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, thereby improving the resilience of communities and ability to monitor climate change in recipient countries.
The Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) has approved a US$43.63m grant for a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-led initiative to strengthen climate information and early warning systems in Africa. The programme will be implemented in 10 African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“This program, by increasing the weather and climate information available to decision makers, will greatly enhance the ability of African governments and communities to prepare for extreme weather shocks, build greater resilience and successfully adapt their sustainable development and poverty alleviation pathways to a changing climate”, said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa at the UNDP.
Kebede Gerba, State Minister of Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia, added that “the initiative is timely and above all will promote the National Meteorology Agency’s climate service delivery systems to discharge their national and international duties and responsibilities.”
The UNDP-GEF led initiative, in coordination with other on-going and planned initiatives at the country level, will enable targeted countries to take additional measures to improve existing climate information systems and adopt new and alternative technologies. The funds will for instance be used by the recipient countries to finance the installation of new observational infrastructure and strengthen capacities to collect, manage and use climate information to support decision making for farmers as well as national and sub-national planners.
Key line ministries such as Finance, Planning, Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources are expected to benefit. Enhanced climate information systems will support key government institutions and civil society to plan for, respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, thereby improving the resilience of communities and ability to monitor climate change in recipient countries.
This initiative directly supports repeated requests by climate change negotiators from developing countries, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to enhance climate information and early warning systems. This latest financial contribution by donor countries and the United Nations system in partnership with the GEF managed adaptation funds is a direct response to these requests.