Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Germany pledges to intensify strategic cooperation with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement on FbF


The German Red Cross yesterday welcomed at least 170 humanitarian, development and technical specialists to Berlin for the 6th global dialogue platform on forecast-based financing (FbF), which is supported by the German government and others.

Opening the meeting, Peter Felten, Head of the Humanitarian Assistance Division at the German Federal Foreign Office, said the platforms were “crucial for the risk reduction work and humanitarian assistance of Germany and other donors”.

They had, he said, “a very positive influence on the way the international community is delivering humanitarian assistance in the context of rising climate change risks.”

FbF was now being rapidly introduced into the existing financing instruments of the humanitarian system, for example with the International Federation’s DREF window last May – “a milestone for FbF and anticipatory humanitarian assistance” – and the World Food Programme was “piloting [FbF] approaches in close cooperation with governmental disaster risk management authorities.”

‘Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will advocate
for CERF early action to be further developed,
based on your FbF experience’

In the NGO sector, Felten said, “forward-looking humanitarian assistance” was now being provided by the Start Fund.

But as a whole the humanitarian system was “still not fully structured for systematic early action”, he added.

“To support the integration of forecast-based financing within the humanitarian system, we will therefore further intensify our strategic cooperation with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on the FbF approach.

“We are also looking forward to advancing corresponding early action financing instruments and anticipatory approaches in the UN context, especially in relation to the Central Emergency Relief Fund [CERF] in cooperation with [the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs].”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was yesterday presenting to the high-level CERF event in New York on the margins of the General Assembly, Felten told the Berlin platform, and “he will advocate for CERF’s early action capabilities to be further developed, based on your FbF experience”.

‘Data and forecasts’

On Monday, together with the UK Department for International Development, Germany had also co-hosted a breakfast meeting in New York about risk financing.

A lot remains to be done, Felten concluded: “Risk assessment, data and forecasts still need further improvement; and more targeted and more effective early actions need to be identified.

“By supporting the further development and practical application of [FbF] know-how, we can make a significant contribution to strengthening the disaster preparedness capacities of the international humanitarian system…

“To succeed, we will need a joint effort to enable governments and relevant organizations to support communities at risk to adapt to climate change, to use scientific information, and to reduce disaster risks in the long, medium and short term.”

Sixteen National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Africa, the Americas and Asia Pacific are currently developing early action protocols for foreseeable natural disasters and are expected to access FbF funding in the first two years of the DREF window, which is also available to all 190 National Societies.

The German Red Cross yesterday welcomed at least 170 humanitarian, development and technical specialists to Berlin for the 6th global dialogue platform on forecast-based financing. (Photo: DRK)