GENEVA, (Xinhua) --
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Tuesday it has launched a
ground-breaking new humanitarian fund designed to ease and even
prevent the damage and trauma caused by natural disasters.
forecast-based action fund means that guaranteed money will be
available to help communities prepare for a disaster before it
strikes,” said Pascale Meige, IFRC’s director of Disaster and
Crisis Prevention, Response and Recovery in a statement here.
Action fund is embedded within IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency
It is a 25-30
million Swiss franc (25-30 million U.S. dollars) annual fund
which has supported Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency
response efforts for more than three decades, said the IFRC.
The fund uses a
combination of weather predictions and historical data to fix
triggers for the automatic release of money for pre-agreed early
For example, a
combination of forecast rainfall combined with the level of a
river at a certain point can be used to activate funding for
downstream evacuations and the distribution of shelter kits for
the people who have been moved to safer ground.
IFRC’s Meige said
that for decades, humanitarians have called for a shift to
proactive and preventative humanitarian action, but such action
has so far been sporadic.
“For the first time,
this fund, and the work we are doing to build country-level
plans and agreements can consistently deliver on this
promise—turning promises into action,” he said.
It would mean that
life-saving action can now take place before anyone is in
The Fund is
supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, with technical
guidance from the German Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red
Crescent Climate Centre and other partners.
financing approach is now being rolled out at the national level
and has been piloted at community level since 2014, including in
Peru, Togo, Uganda, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Mongolia, said
predicted flooding of the Brahmaputra river in 2017 triggered
cash grants for people who were able to use this money to
support their families during the emergency.