The vast majority of disasters triggered by natural hazards leading to humanitarian crises are caused by extreme weather- and climate-related events (IFRC). Between 1970 and 2019, there were more than 11’000 disasters attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, resulting in over 2 million deaths and 3.64 trillion US dollars in losses (2021 WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes). To further reduce the impacts of these hydrometeorological events, it is increasingly crucial that humanitarian organizations act before crises (to take anticipatory actions) and not “only” after the events (in response to the events).
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN and Humanitarian agencies have long recognized the vital importance of reliable and timely hydrometeorological information to support Anticipatory Action and Response and as such have been working in partnership for many years to address the specific needs. However, all stakeholders agree that more is to be done to harness this rich seam of crucial information. Therefore, at Congress 2019 WMO Members endorsed a key resolution which will enhance the provision of information still further through what will become the WMO Coordination Mechanism (WCM).
In April 2020, the Swiss Federal Council decided to contribute to the development of this mechanism through the Weather4UN project. MeteoSwiss implements this project in close collaboration with the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and WMO and its Members as well as the humanitarian community.