5 Oct 2023

The Global Shield and its relevance to anticipatory action: a strategic workshop at the Global Dialogue Platform

Three of the sessions at this year’s Global Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action will focus on strategic global initiatives: the Early Warnings for All initiative, the Global Shield against Climate Risks and the Grand Bargain. These will be a chance to find out more about these initiatives and explore what they mean for the anticipatory action sector. In this blog, Dr Nikolas Scherer, Anticipation Hub, tells us more about the workshop dedicated to the Global Shield.  

For anyone not familiar with the Global Shield against Climate Risks, can you explain what it’s all about? 

Commonly known as the Global Shield, it is an initiative that was launched at last year's UN Climate Conference, building on a joint effort by the Group of Seven (G7) and the Vulnerable 20 Group (V20), the latter being a collection of countries that are particularly threatened by climate change. The Global Shield’s stated objective is to “increase protection for poor and vulnerable people by providing and facilitating substantially more and better pre-arranged finance against disasters”. Essentially, it seeks to channel financing and technical expertise to develop and scale up climate and disaster-risk financing instruments in order to avert, minimize and respond climate-related losses and damages.  

The basis for this is the so-called ‘in-country processes’: this means that a government takes stock of its existing instruments, defines its gaps and request support to develop or scale up a certain instrument. The Global Shield can then provide support via the existing programmes and interventions of its partners, directing the country to one the three funds under its financing structure: the Global Shield Solutions Platform, the Global Shield Financing Facility and the CVF & V20 Joint Multi-Donor Trust Fund (CVF meaning the Climate Vulnerable Forum). The Global Shield is currently backed by donor commitments worth 270 million euros. 

And how does this connect to anticipatory action? 

The activities that the Global Shield will support will help to ensure that the people who are most vulnerable to climate-related risks are better protected to cope with them. This includes substantially enhancing and scaling up the amount of prearranged finance available – which includes financing for anticipatory action.  

Other activities that will fall under its remit include stronger social protection mechanisms and enhanced early warning systems, both of which are closely interlinked with anticipatory action. In short, it provides an opportunity to strengthen and build the necessary systems for anticipatory action to be scaled up, which is what the sector is striving for.  

The Global Shield is currently the largest coordinated attempt to improve existing finance solutions outside the UN system in response to climate-related losses and damages. This workshop is a key opportunity for the anticipatory action community to join the conversation.

Dr Nikolas Scherer Anticipation Hub

Who will be speaking during the workshop at the Global Dialogue Platform? 

The workshop will have speakers from the Global Shield Secretariat and two of its supporting funds, the Global Shield Solutions Platform and the Global Shield Financing Facility. They will tell us more about the Global Shield itself and the in-country processes and opportunities that come with it.  

In the various breakout sessions, facilitated by the Insurance Development Forum, the Global Risk Modelling Alliance and the African Risk Capacity, participants will have to chance to further discuss the potential role that the Global Shield can play in promoting anticipatory action. This could be, for example, by establishing insurance systems to enable payouts before a disaster hits. And participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas! 

And why should people working on anticipatory action take part in this workshop? 

They will have the opportunity to express what they would like to see from the Global Shield, provide inputs into how it can support anticipatory action system-building, and indicate what they can bring into the Global Shield in terms of the resources, expertise and experience required to develop solutions that meet the needs of those most affected by climate-related disasters. In this way, they can contribute to defining the role of the anticipatory action community in the Global Shield.  

I think this is a great opportunity as the Global Shield is currently the largest coordinated attempt to improve existing finance solutions outside the UN System in response to climate-related losses and damages. 

And which other sectors might find this workshop useful? 

The key to success is for the different strategic global initiatives that focus on reducing disaster risk to work together, and in a holistic way. For example, the Global Shield is cooperating with early warning actors, especially those involved in the Early Warning for All Initiative; there is also huge scope to collaborate with the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility, as well as with public–private initiatives such as the Insurance Development Forum, the Global Risk Alliance and the African Risk Capacity Group. This workshop will bring together the people involved in these initiatives – with some involved in more than one – so that together we can identify the most urgent steps to take next. 

The ‘Global Shield and its relevance to anticipatory action’ workshop will take place on 11 October, 15:15-16:45 CEST. Along with many other workshops and sessions at the 11th Global Dialogue Platform, it will be streamed live for online participation. To join, please register on the event website

Main photo: Sana'a, Yemen. People help rescue a child during the floods in April 2022. © Ali Al Sonaidar / ICRC