In a year overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic fallout, 2021 nevertheless saw progress towards in strengthening early warning services and building resilience to extreme weather and climate change impacts in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
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Countries contributing to the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative have announced commitments for new investments of US$ 20 million for early warnings systems in Africa, and additional financing for the Caribbean region. The initiative has been widely lauded as a success story in terms of building resilience to extreme weather and saving lives and livelihoods.
Water-related hazards dominate the list of disasters in terms of both the human and economic toll over the past 50 years, according to a comprehensive analysis by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Heavy rainfall has triggered devastating flooding causing dozens of casualties in Western Europe. Parts of Scandinavia are enduring a lasting heatwave, and smoke plumes from Siberia have affected air quality across the international dateline in Alaska. The unprecedented heat in Western North America has also triggered devastating wildfires.
The Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative is mobilizing an additional US$ 28 million to deliver early warning systems in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDs) to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of severe weather.