AUC, WMO, Other Pillar Leads and Partners review Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning for All (MEW4All) Action Plan- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 - 11:25

In collaboration with Partners at High-Level sittings, WMO, other Pillar Leads, AUC and Partners reviewed the Multi-Hazard Early Warning for All (MEW4All) Action Plan for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 14 -16 August 2023.

The High-Level officials were drawn from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), African Union Commission (AUC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and other partners and stakeholders to review the earlier draft document of the write shop held in Bishoftu Ethiopia.

The Multi-hazard Early Warning for All Action Plan for Africa (2023-2027) is being developed to bridge existing gaps and establish continent-wide early warning systems coverage by 2027, in line with AMHEWAS and EW4All objectives. The Plan will build upon ongoing regional early warning efforts on the continent and provide strategic direction for Member States and stakeholders in taking early action on addressing weather, water, and climate-related disasters.

In his opening address, the WMO Director, Member Services and Development Department, Mr Filipe Lúcio, acknowledged the leadership role of AUC in organizing the earlier write shop by the technical team in Bishoftu, Ethiopia and the High-Level review of the document. 

He highlighted the improvement and progress in weather forecasting, especially on severe weather events. He pointed out that despite the feat attained, there still exist gaps in communication and responses. He, however, commended the participants for their commitment, hard work, and collaboration to bridge the gap in the early warning capability of the African continent.

Also speaking at Workshop, the African Union (AU) Director, Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, Mr Harsen Nyambe, said the ‘African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government encouraged Member States to take measures to strengthen their National Systems on disaster-related displacement, disaster risk reduction and Early Warning in line with the Sendai Framework, the African Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and other Programmes.

In the words of the Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Service Center, Dr Matthias NAAB, at the Workshop, ‘UNDP strongly believes that addressing climate change challenges necessitates a risk-informed development approach underpinned by sound disaster risk management, which incorporates preparedness, mitigation, and risk reduction measures’.

Ms Phoebe Wafubwa, of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Resilience Coordinator, noted that IFRC supports Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction in various African communities and preparedness and response remain a crucial challenge. 

According to the Representative from IMO, Ahmed Rona Ali, the Organization remains a ‘major implementor of climate adaptation and risk reduction programming across Africa and the globe. Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction are core areas of focus for IOM, and with disasters increasingly causing widespread destruction and community displacement, the Organization has and will continue to invest in risk reduction.

Speaking as one of the Pillar Leads  ITU, Regional Director for Africa and Representative to AU and UNECA, Ms Anne-Rachel Inne, commended the ongoing collaboration. She said that ITU would support Member States in implementing the EW4ALL through the support to Common alerting protocol. She noted the need to strengthen the communication infrastructure in the region. ‘ITU, she said, supported Malawi in preparing its National Emergency Telecommunication Plan and will continue to render the needed support for implementing the EW4ALL Initiative.

The Action Plan is expected to be launched in Nairobi, Kenya at the African Climate Summit on 4 September 2023.