18 Dec 2020

Forecast-based Financing and Disaster Displacement: Acting early to reduce the humanitarian impacts of displacement

The forced displacement of individuals and communities due to disasters and the effects of climate change (disaster displacement) has been described as one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of the 21st Century. As part of the increasing efforts to reduce the risks and impacts of disaster displacement, there is increasing momentum and interest in the role of anticipatory action, including Forecast Based Finance (FbF).

The IFRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Centre, in partnership with the University of Oxford have published a new Issue Brief that explores the links between FbF and disaster displacement.

The new Issue Brief is available here.

The Brief finds that anticipatory actions can have a crucial impact in protecting communities against arbitrary displacement; ensuring that any displacement that does occur is safe and dignified; and in promoting earlier recovery and the attainment of durable solutions.

The Brief looks, for example, at the role of existing FbF initiatives to reinforce structures and protect livelihoods prior to a cyclone hitting in both Mozambique and the Philippines. The Brief notes that these initiatives may have the effect of protecting people against arbitrary displacement; as well as promoting a faster return home – a durable solution – if they do have to flee their homes.

The Brief also notes the role of FbF initiatives in the context of evacuation (a form of displacement) where the most at risk in Bangladesh are supported with food, water and basic health care while displaced. The Brief also notes how these early actions have been adapted to be COVID-safe in 2020.

The brief concludes with a series of recommendations addressed to governments, UN agencies, NGOs, the IFRC and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, civil society and donors, as well as community-based stakeholders. The recommendations span all of the possible phases of displacement, from protection against arbitrary displacement, to preparedness, response, recovery and durable solutions.

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