Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, extreme temperatures, droughts, and cyclones continue to affect the MENA region, increasing the gap between needs and available resources. At present, humanitarian finance is mostly available only once a disaster strikes in countries throughout the region.

It is also important to acknowledge that Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies have been investing in their preparedness actions through establishment of community-based early warning systems with the local communities and meteorological organisations, strengthening early actions and developing their contingency plans to respond to disasters and crises.

However, Anticipatory Humanitarian Action (and Forecast Based Financing) can change this trend, as it is making use of the window between a forecast and the impact, for actions to be taken while guaranteeing funding for those early actions.

In the MENA region, since 2006 the IFRC has launched 37 operations to support people affected by the impacts of meteorological hazards, this number does not even consider those operations that have been funded by the National Societies with their own resources (incl. support by Partner National Societies such as GRC). While the RCRC Movement in the MENA region is very much at the ‘beginning of the anticipatory humanitarian action/FbF journey’, the context of many countries (e.g. conflict-affected and urban context) provides opportunities for looking into innovative FbF approaches.

الإطلاع على النسخة العربية


Other stakeholders like WFP, REAP, Start Network, ODI, the League of Arab States, the Arab Water Council as well as the RCRC Movement took stock of anticipatory action and what it means for the Arab region in a first workshop in 2020. It is planned to establish a community of practice among interested organizations and partners in this region.

In 2020, GRC MENA in close partnership with IFRC DCPRR MENA and with support of the GRC/Anticipation Hub and RCCC has started to jointly introduce anticipatory humanitarian action/FbF approach in the MENA region. The roll-out plan currently focusses on:

  • Introducing the FbF approach and the Forecast based Action by the DREF (FbA by the DREF) to the MENA National Societies to understand key concepts, methodology, funding mechanism
  • Establishing/organizing regional FbF sharing of knowledge (online events/sessions, trainings, workshops) amongst RCRC movement and other stakeholders in MENA and connect global, regional and national levels for/in MENA
  • Establishment of a MENA RCRC Movement anticipatory action/FbF mailing list
  • Arabic translation of all relevant manuals and guidance
  • Collaboration and partnership among National Societies and other actors in the region interested in engaging in FbF

To this date, 1 FbF pilot project is planned to be implemented between GRC and Morocco Red Crescent Society as of 2021.

“The MENA region has its own characteristics to be considered and as the RCRC Movement, we are willing and curious to explore and accelerate anticipation/FbF in contexts where multiple hazards (including conflict) are overlapping.”

Are you working on anticipatory action in the MENA region?

If yes, please get in touch as we want to share project information and experiences for this region here.

Krystell Santamaría

IFRC MENA Disaster Risk Management Coordinator
Phone: +961 70 370 648.

Rita Petralba

GRC MENA Thematic Advisor (DRR, Urban, FbF)