In the framework of the ongoing Twenty-Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the African Union Commission together with the Republic of Mozambique organised a high-level event on the Operationalization of the Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS).
The high-level event given the theme Catalysing Investments for the Operationalisation of AMHEWAS took place on 8th November was attended by African Heads of State and Government, ministers, heads of partner organizations, senior officials and other delegates. The event was hosted by H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of Republic of Mozambique and African Union Champion for Disaster Risk Management. President. Other dignitaries who attended the event included H.E. President of Botswana, H.E. President of Malawi, H.E. Vice President of Angola, and President of World Bank, President of IFRC, several African Ministers, among others.
The objective of the high-level event aimed to achieve and promote the visibility of the Africa Multi-hazard and Early Warning and Action System, to share Africa’s best practices with a wider global audience and generate feedback to improve the implementation of AMHEWAS and other resilience programmes; and Catalyse disaster risk finance and investment flows towards building multi-hazard early warning systems for a resilient Africa.
The President of the Republic of Mozambique and African Union Champion for Disaster Risk Management (DRM), H.E President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi appealed to partners for increased funding for early warning and early action to support member states’ efforts to reduce disaster losses and damages arising from climate and disaster risk that has continued to increase on the continent. The AU Champion for DRM emphasised that Africa’s capacity to build resilience and invest in adaptation was being hampered by inadequate financial capacity, hence the need for support.
In his opening remarks, H.E Moussa Fakli Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said cognisance of the challenges of increased disaster impacts on the continent, the AU Commission has developed the Africa Multi-hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS) Programme to contribute to reduced disaster losses and damage. The AMHEWAS programme is one of the many initiatives being implemented by the Commission to protect the people, development, assets and environment, he continued. The Chairperson highlighted other initiatives that the AU developed, including the recently developed African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy, the revised Integrated Africa Regional Strategy for Meteorology (Weather and Climate Service), and the Africa Programme of Action for the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
Addressing the high-level event Prof. Petteri Taalas, the World Metrology Organization (WMO) Secretary General who also represented the UN Secretary General H.E. Antonio Guteres called on partners and governments to channel more resources towards Early Warning Systems to enhance early warning not just for disaster risk but also for marine and air transport.
The World Bank President, David Malpass regretted the scale and magnitude of disasters that were affecting the continent and broad spectrum of society and announced that the Bank is committed to support Africa for climate risk financing. He pledged his organisation continued support to Africa on adaptation.
On his part Francesco Rocca, the President of International Federation of the Red Crescent (IFRC) commended the African Union and its partners on the establishment the Africa Multi- Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System to save lives and property on the continent. He stressed the need to ensure that early warning messages were clear, concise and reach the last mile as well as lead to anticipatory action that saves lives.
H.E Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Head of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) expressed her gratitude to H.E President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, African Union Champion for Disaster Risk Management and President of the Republic of Mozambique for his continued leadership in ensuring that Africa has access to early warning systems and called on partners to support Africa to develop Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems to bridge the gap between early warning and early action as espoused by the Maputo Ministerial declaration on integrated early warning systems.
The event as moderated by H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).