Anticipatory Humanitarian Action in Sub-Saharan Africa

Anticipatory Humanitarian Action is gaining great momentum across Africa with engagement from various stakeholders, including but not limited to, the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), OCHA, START Network, governments, National Meteorological and Hydrological services, research institutions and universities. These stakeholders are partnering at country, regional and global levels to implement anticipatory action projects and initiatives.

International research collaborations are also taking place helping to strengthen new scientific knowledge, tools and partnerships to support anticipatory action in Africa. For example, “Forecast for Anticipatory Humanitarian Action” (FATHUM) and “Forecast-based Preparedness Action” (ForPAc) supported joint trigger development in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. We are excited to highlight that University of Eduardo Mondlane, University of Namibia, University of Lesotho, Stellenbosch University and Makerere University, have all joined as partners of the Anticipation Hub.  


Facts and figures

Early Action Protocols in Mali (floods), Niger (floods), Zambia (floods) and Mozambique (floods and cyclones) have been approved by the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund and EAPs are being validated in Kenya (floods), Uganda (floods) and Ethiopia (floods).

20 Countries in Africa implementing the FbF approach
5 Number of EAP approved within the RCRC
3 Number of EAP in the process
10 Number of Hub partners in Sub-Saharan Africa

Country and project pages in Sub-Saharan Africa

You can find detailed information on anticipatory action projects in Africa from our country pages.  Initiatives on anticipatory action in Africa are organized in three regions:

  • Southern Africa region
  • Eastern Africa region
  • Sahel region

Sub-regional update pages will be developed soon.

View country pages

Working groups

The Africa region has developed multiple working groups at the regional and sub-regional levels facilitating knowledge sharing and exchange on anticipatory antion.

  • Africa wide forecast based financing technical working group
  • Southern Africa Regional forecast based financing technical working group
  • Southern Africa Climate Change Task Team
  • Eastern Africa regional forecast based financing technical working group
  • Food Security Nutrition Working Group
View working groups
September 13, 2021

Using global forecasts to support humanitarian decision making during major tropical cyclones

Tropical Cyclones (or Hurricanes as they are called in the Atlantic) are the most powerful storms on earth. They cause destruction from strong winds and coastal flooding where they make landfall and …

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September 14, 2021

Forecast-based financing for drought in Niger

To enhance communities’ resilience to drought, and to increase their food and nutritional security, the Niger Red Cross is implementing forecast-based financing for droughts in the Zinder region. …

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This image shows Early actions before the flood
July 05, 2021

Zambias Early Action Protocols in practice

This blog shares insights from the flood light activation in Zambia that took place from February 18th until February 24th 2021.

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This image shows two women working on a field
June 16, 2021

Forecast-based Action Intervention: Early Cash Distribution to address Food Insecurity in the North-East of Madagascar

This blog explains how Welthungerhilfe is using Early Cash distribution as part of their forecast-based interventions to address food insecurity in the North-East of Madagascar.

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June 15, 2021

Southern Africa Dialogue Platform: Live Blog & Recordings now available

The 1st ever Southern Africa Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action took place from May 26 - 27, 2021. You can catch up on the highlights of each session through the ‘live blog’ on …

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This image shows the analytical concept of prioritizing high-risk areas
May 19, 2021

OFF THE GRID: Identifying high-risk and unmapped areas in East Africa

This blog post discusses a study to identify and prioritize high-risk areas in East Africa and guide volunteer mapping efforts to map the gaps in these areas.

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The images show the flood extent in Uganda
May 17, 2021

The coproduction of the Early Action Protocol for floods in Uganda: A model of strong collaboration for the effective scale-up of FbF

To trigger effective anticipatory actions before a natural hazard hits a vulnerable community, humanitarians need clear and robust protocols. This blog describes how the Uganda Red Cross Society …

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This image shows the distribution of provided shelter materials
April 28, 2021

Ethiopian Flood Trigger Simulation: Optimizing Early Action Protocols

This blog shares insights from the simulation of the flood Early Action Protocol in Ethiopia that took place from March 8th until March 12th 2021.

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August 30, 2023

Forecast-based Financing: Closing the gap between disaster preparedness and emergency relief in Southern Africa - Lesotho

Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) started the implementation of FbF in early 2020 as part of the German Red Cross supported FbF Southern Africa Project (FbF-SAP). A first early action protocol (EAP) …

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CVM conducts a large-scale EAP activation simulation exercise in the Province of Nampula
April 14, 2021

The aftermath of anticipatory humanitarian actions taken for severe tropical storm ‘Chalane’ in Mozambique – was it worth it?

This blog is a short narrative about what followed as the first EAP activation in the Africa region.

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June 08, 2021

Practice makes perfect: planning for floods in Ethiopia

To test the Early Action Protocol, the Ethiopian Red Cross and its partners carried out a flood simulation in March 2021. Simulations are crucial to make sure communication between all the different …

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April 09, 2021

Bridging the gap: establishing the basis of subseasonal flood forecasting in East Africa

In 2018 Kenya experienced one of its wettest seasons on record. Exceptionally high rainfall in distinct periods throughout the “long rains” season resulted in extensive flooding, loss of around 200 …

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February 04, 2021

Anticipating the flood: Taking early actions at the Lower Limpopo in Mozambique

After communities in Central Mozambique have experienced the impact of Tropical Cyclone “Eloïse” just last week, significant rainfall in Mozambique’s South is leading to flooding in the Lower …

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January 22, 2021

Mozambique Red Cross taking early action as Tropical Cyclone Eloise brings strong winds and rains

Just a little over three weeks after witnessing the last tropical storm (Chalane), the population along Central Mozambique’s coastline is bracing for the impact of Tropical Cyclone Eloise. Eloise is …

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May 19, 2021

1st Southern Africa Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

The first Southern Africa Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action takes place virtually on 26th and 27th May, 2021. Register now!

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January 27, 2021

Welthungerhilfe FbA Kick off/Recap Call for Zimbabwe Start Network Member Organizations

Welthungerhilfe supported by the Start Network is setting off on a drought early action journey in Zimbabwe. We would like to organise a meeting with all Start Network member organisations active in …

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July 05, 2021

A burst of energy and enthusiasm: Systems Building for effective anticipatory action at the 4th Africa Dialogue Platform

The 4th Africa Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action took place from the 29th of June to the 1st of July. During these three days 290 participants came together to share experiences …

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Phoebe Wafubwa Shikuku

Disaster Risk Reduction & Forecast based Financing Advisor, IFRC Regional Office

Jurg Wilbrink

Disaster Risk Reduction & Forecast based Financing Advisor, IFRC Pretoria Cluster

Irene Amuron

Technical Advisor, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

“Whereas traditional disaster response is based on damage-limiting reaction to weather-related hazards, FbF focuses on anticipating them with the help of scientific data and research.
The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is a pioneer in the area of disaster management. With FbF, we continue along this path, but instead of responding only, we now anticipate adverse events, and provide humanitarian assistance accordingly. It’s a real game-changer for us.”

Dr Michael Adekunle Charles Head of Southern Africa Cluster Office, IFRC

Africa Dialogue Platform 2020 LIVE Blog

The 3rd Africa Dialogue Platform was held virtually from the 27th to 29th of October 2020 with nearly 300 participants. A wide range of diverse and interactive events took place, around the topics of anticipation in the humanitarian system, Forecast-based Financing, Early Warning-Early Action and Disaster Risk Financing.. 

Click below to access the LIVE Blog and re-watch the plenaries and sessions:

Visit the event platform

Latest tweets from our partners in the region