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Climate change is increasing the incidence, frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and exacerbating the vulnerability of many countries and communities. It is therefore essential to enhance resilience and the capacity to adapt to a changing climate, above all for the poor who are the most affected. Photo © C&S Northway

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Contact: david.elkaim@diplomatie.gouv.fr, michel.pre@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Every year, disasters caused by climate extremes such as tropical cyclones and severe storms, floods, heat waves and droughts lead to significant losses of life and socioeconomic impacts. These disasters can significantly compromise development and growth, particularly in countries with the least capacity to respond.

In this context, the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative aims to significantly increase the capacity for Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems.

These systems effectively generate and communicate impact-based early warnings, delivering risk information for hazardous hydrometeorological and climate events. They protect lives, livelihoods, and property in more than 50 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Many countries have strengthened their Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems by enhancing hydro-meteorological warning services and improving emergency plans and operations.

The countries that have successfully built the systems benefit from a dramatic reduction in deaths related to weather extremes.

The capacity of implementing early warning systems in different countries and regions remain highly varied. Some LDCs and SIDS are particularly susceptible to weaknesses in their ability to issue crucial warnings to national and local authorities and residents.

The CREWS initiative takes a result-based approach. By 2020, all relevant SIDS and LDCs are expected to have at least moderate early warning system and risk information capacities. CREWS aims to mobilize US$ 100 million by 2020 in order to fill the gaps in the exiting bilateral and multilateral cooperation programs. A trust fund hosted by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery will support the development of implementing institutions and organizations and their activities.

A robust needs analysis led by Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction shows that $US 100 million is needed by 2020 to reach the CREWS initiative’s objectives.

The CREWS initiative brings together the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction from the World Bank, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction to strengthen the early warning systems that lie at the heart of resilience.

Photo credit: Frederic de La Mure (Minister of Foreign Affairs France)

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