High-Level Italian Delegation visits IGAD Climate Centre Disaster Operations Centre
On 4 January 2022, UNDRR accompanied an Italian delegation led by the Director Mr. Luca Maestripieri from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The delegation visited the situation room of the ICPAC Disaster Operations Centre. The situation room was funded by the Government of Italy and supported with guidance and technical knowledge by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the African Union, and the CIMA Research Foundation.
The Situation Room officially opened on 27 October 2021 during the inauguration of the IGAD-ICPAC facility. The IGAD multi-hazard situation room will advance the development of important applications that will ensure close links between early warning-early action and anticipatory actions in the areas of floods, cyclones, heat waves, drought, food security, and locust invasion.
A Training Academy took place at the IGAD/ICPAC grounds in November 2021, targeting DRR and early warning experts from the region. Participants from ICPAC and SADC Member States gained insights into the technical tools offered by the DOC situation room to enable them to access, exchange, and analyze relevant DRR data and information along. The participants were also familiarized with Standard Operating Procedures related to Early Warning. The ICPAC DOC situation room is connected to the Continental situation room for DRR at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the ACMAD situation room in Niger. All these initiatives were made possible through the generous contribution of EUR 5 million by the Government of Italy which seeks to establish a continental MHEWS linking national, regional, and continental levels. An expansion of this project (phase II) will continue into 2022 with an additional contribution of EUR 2 million which will help to build on synergies with other initiatives funded by the government of Italy, including an additional EUR 1 million for the Sahel region, and EUR 1 million to establish an Africa network of excellence for DRR.
The initiative launched two years ago through the partnership with the Government of Italy, has since generated interest and additional coordinated support from the European Union, the Government of Sweden, and the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative. The project contributes to the Africa Road Map which constitutes a long-term programme for establishing an Early Warning System (EWS) at the continental level that will trigger appropriate and timely early actions in the field of early warning and transboundary risk management.
The Road Map has been equally inspired by the experience shared by Italy, a disaster-prone country that over the years has developed an efficient and modern Civil Protection System with effective governance mechanisms. DRR efforts in Africa are a priority for AICS. Mr. Luca Maestripieri said “We are honored to have contributed to laying the foundation for the Africa Road Map implementation by financing the first phase and we will continue to support Early Warning efforts in Africa in the coming years. Let me assure you that the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation is fully committed in this regard.”