Madagascar - Impact of Early Warning Early Action

Madagascar - Impact of Early Warning Early Action
Apr 2019

There is evidence that the intensity and frequency of natural hazards and conflicts is increasing. Natural hazards, for example, now occur nearly five times as often compared to 40 years ago. The impact on local economies, on people’s lives and their livelihoods, has similarly increased. In some of the worst-hit places, it can seem unrelenting. One crisis will follow another, every time stripping away at the hard-earned but limited assets of the poorest and most vulnerable, depriving people of their self-reliance and their dignity.

Globally, expanding needs, competing priorities and limited resources mean that new tools are essential to make humanitarian interventions as wise and effective as possible, to ensure that the impacts of crises are limited before they can grow into even more costly disasters. Support at the right time protects and empowers people the most, giving them the confidence to keep going or to resume their livelihoods. Investing in early action means FAO can help shelter longer-term development gains and increase resilience.

Working with national governments and humanitarian, development and scientific partners, FAO’s Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) approach monitors risk information systems and translates warnings into anticipatory actions. Every quarter, FAO’s Early Warning Early Action report on food security and agriculture ranks risks by their likelihood and potential impact and identifies options for intervention. Funding channeled through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) Early Action Window enables FAO to act early and reduce the impact of crises, drawing on FAO’s greatest asset – its technical knowledge and expertise in supporting rural livelihoods.

Early actions are varied and flexible, ranging from cash transfers for fishing communities to safely store their nets ahead of an impending cyclone, to livestock treatments for herders as a drought approaches, to flood defences before a severe rainy season to protect crops. This study analyses the outcomes of monitoring early warnings on drought and taking targeted early actions in the south of Madagascar between 2017 and 2018. It evaluates their effectiveness and quantifies the benefits of acting early.