Developing countries that have implemented projects through the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative will soon have faster access to finance to further develop and scale early warning systems through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Simplified Approval Process (SAP).
The SAP-CREWS Scaling-up Framework will enable countries with scalable programs related to data collection, hazard monitoring and predictions, early warning communication and community response capacities to potentially access GCF SAP funds earlier, through GCF ‘accredited entities’, if certain parameters and procedures are met. They will also benefit from technical assistance from a wide range of development partners.
The proposed Scaling-up Framework on Early Warning is being developed in consultation with partners such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the World Bank, regional development banks such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) among others.
The Scaling-up Framework will also benefit from the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF), established so countries can sustain their networks of observation stations which provide foundational data for effective weather predictions and warnings.
Gerard Howe, CREWS chair and head of the Adaptation, Nature and Resilience Department at the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), said, “The UN secretary-general in the margins of the recent UNFCCC COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, presented a plan to have all people covered by early warning systems within five years. Reaching the plan’s goal requires scaled-up financing, along with strong and effective collaboration and partnerships.”
With this in mind, Howe referred to the Scaling-up Framework on Early Warning as “a potentially key contribution to the success of the UN Early Warning for All plan.”
A virtual workshop was held on January 12, 2023 to define the criteria that would facilitate access to additional financing for countries.
Wenjian Zhang, WMO assistant secretary-general, said, “Early warning systems are effective tools to minimize the loss and damage due to extreme events and to adapt to climate change, yet one third of the world’s people, mainly in least developed countries and small island developing states, are still not covered by early warning systems.”
The Scaling-up Framework for Early Warning is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2023.