The World Meteorological Organization’s Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP), a demand-driven, small-grants programme, that supports National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in developing and least developed countries and small island developing states, is marking its 50th anniversary.
Established by WMO in 1967, the programme seeks to meet the needs of Members through direct financing, and transfer of expertise and technology. It success is due largely to the willingness of WMO Members to make financial contributions to the programme, and to share scientific knowledge and the latest technological advances.
The VCP Database dates back to 1976, and is a catalogue of over 2000 requests from 153 Members in all WMO regions. Since its inception, the VCP has supported an array of requests, including support for observation systems, technical expert services, installation of technical equipment, human resource development and strategic and legal frameworks for the NMHS.
In the past five years, there has been a shift towards an increase in requests for climate data rescue and management, TV Media Studios, and Strategic Planning Documents.
Another important mechanism to support capacity development is through bilateral development projects, directly from one NMHS to another. The VCP’s Informal Planning Meeting meets on a yearly basis to discuss the VCP, and regional and national development projects. Over the past decade, WMO has recorded a significant increase in bilateral projects, and development projects equal to a value of approximately US$ 30 million are currently being implemented in Africa, Asia, Pacific islands and Latin America.
The VCP, along with donor countries, offers equipment, fellowships, expertise and financing. For their part, the recipient countries provide considerable counterpart national contributions such as local infrastructure, staffing and operational resources. WMO is striving to expand this network by creating more linkages among NMHSs, bringing more members into the programme and therefore strengthening the spirit of cooperation and friendship.
After 50 years of existence, the VCP is still looking for new partners, and financial contributions to be able to meet the high demand from WMO Members.
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