Guyo Malicha Roba, head of the Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action, explains how loss and damage funding could provide the most benefit to African communities suffering from drought.

Photo Credit: Colin Crowley/Save the Children:

Writing in the Environment Journal, he argues that the multidimensional impacts of droughts will have “catastrophic consequences on pastoralists’ livelihoods and their resilience to future shocks. With such rising needs, we can no longer afford to wait for emergencies to develop. We must act early and pre-emptively to prevent predictable shocks from turning into crises on the scale we are seeing today.”

He says that discussions on loss and damage financing at COP27 “should inject some impetus in the transition from crisis management to prevention. The use of early response tools, that use diagnostic and predictive approaches to monitor, forecast, plan for the impact of droughts will be critical. They can help communities to better project the probability of droughts occurring and plan for how it might affect their livelihoods.”

These funds, he says, must be deployed to improve the use of data in anticipatory action. More direct funding to local organizations – including women-led organizations – is needed to close the financing gaps that limit community-level action and improve timely local decision-making. To truly make the impact required from anticipatory action, financing must also focus on resolving the gap between drought design and the organization’s ability to receive and use funds.

“With thoughtful and action-oriented planning, governments have a unique opportunity to transform how African drylands are supported through drought cycles.”

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