In its fourth iteration, the Asia Pacific Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action brings together practitioners, scientists, and government representatives from the region. The increasing momentum and the experience from various AA activations and simulations will allow for a rich exchange and an opportunity for cross-country learnings. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘5 years of Anticipatory Humanitarian Action in Asia-Pacific: Lessons Learned and Way Forward’.
Recent examples of scaling up Anticipatory Action at the country level highlight the need for national and regional policies that enable humanitarian actors to implement Anticipatory Action and access funds before a hazard event occurs.
In this session we will hear from four actors involved in anticipatory humanitarian action in three countries regarding their experiences adapting to COVID-19. In Bangladesh and the Philippines, actors focused on adapting existing early action protocols and overarching frameworks for action to COVID-19. In Afghanistan, FAO worked to anticipate the impacts of COVID-19 beyond the public health sector. Each panelist will have an opportunity to reflect on how COVID-19 affected their overall operations, how they adapted, and the lessons each learned for future practice and for managing multiple risks more broadly.
The Anticipatory Action approach in Bangladesh was scaled up through an inter-agency collaboration led by OCHA in early 2020. The first of its kind, a coordinated, large-scale Anticipatory Action Plan was pre-approved by the CERF. The plan was developed by UN agencies (including WFP, FAO and UNFPA) alongside the RC/RC with the aim to mitigate and protect vulnerable households from the risk of monsoon flooding.
In early July 2020, the system was triggered with a forecast of a one in 10 year flood. Agencies quickly provided cash, waterproof storage drums, livestock feed, dignity, and health kits ahead of the hazard’s peak - with the aim to protect lives and livelihoods. This session will discuss the experience of setting up this system, from creating the plan itself to implementation.
A key element of AA is that the allocation of financial resources is agreed in advance, together with the specific forecast/impact threshold that triggers the release of those resources for the implementation of early actions. The roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in implementing these actions are defined in the Early Action Protocol (EAP) or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This ensures the full commitment of the implementation among the involved stakeholders.