People in Honduras and Guatemala are repeatedly threatened by devastating tropical storms and volcanic ash. In cooperation with the National Societies the GRC is implementing anticipatory relief measures for these natural hazards.
Forecast Based Financing in Honduras and Guatemala aims to implement the mechanism that facilitates that the National Society has the strategic, operational, and financial preparedness to support the development of Forecast based Financing. In one word, I would say FbF Readiness is about “strengthening”.
We are currently reviewing the national contingency plans for both countries since they normally focus on a response approach and with FbF we are now advocating for a shift into anticipation. This is supported by a better understanding of what are early actions about, from volunteers as well as the National Societies’ authorities as well as other partners such as hydrometeorological institutes. For instance, we are planning some capacity development initiatives (trainings) for National Intervention Teams, which have different capacities and specializations, such as WASH, shelter, logistics, finances, and others.
On the other hand, we have an important progress in terms of information exchange due to the agreements with the scientific sector and academia in both countries to support the access and meteorological information for hazards such as tropical storms, droughts and volcanic ashfall.
The Red Cross is a worldwide reference in terms of disaster response, and we are aware that both volunteers and staff have their focus on preparedness. But we are seeing that the more we talk about it and share with our partners, through practical examples, how can early actions be implemented to provide a more efficient aid there is more awareness and understanding of the importance of anticipation.