Irish Aid announces funding for developing countries to prepare for climate change impacts
Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., today announced Irish Aid funding of €4 million to strengthen the ability of developing countries to predict and prepare for extreme weather events.
Working in partnership with Met Éireann, this support will enable the work of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF), established by the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN. The Facility will work with developing countries, providing funding and technical expertise to help them to address weather and climate information gaps. This will help some of the world’s poorest countries to better manage events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, which are increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change.
Minister Brophy said:
“Today wide-scale flooding is ravaging parts of Bangladesh and India, while the Horn of Africa is reeling from four consecutive years of drought. We are living through a time when climate change impacts are already devastating peoples’ lives and livelihoods. Initiatives such as the SOFF are crucial to building the capability of developing countries to predict and tackle extreme weather events such as those we are witnessing today. I am pleased to announce Irish support for this innovative programme, which builds on our strong track record in supporting climate adaptation in the most vulnerable countries”
Darragh O’Brien T.D., Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said:
“I am delighted to support Minister Brophy’s announcement regarding Met Éireann’s partnership with Irish Aid to enable the work of SOFF. Met Éireann’s contributions in developing the SOFF were recognised by the World Meteorological Organisation and I am pleased to see Ireland being one of SOFF founding funders.”
Eoin Moran, Director of Met Éireann and Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the World Meteorological Organisation said:
“Meaningful systemic and behavioural transformation in response to climate change is informed by science and data. SOFF will strengthen climate adaptation and resilient development for developing countries by improving weather and climate observations that will in turn support better weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate services to help protect lives and livelihoods. SOFF will not only empower the most vulnerable countries, but will also strengthen our international response to climate change. Met Éireann will continue to be instrumental in helping our national and international response to climate change and is delighted to support Ireland’s leadership as a SOFF founding funder.”
Notes to Editors:
- €4 million in funding will be provided to the SOFF over a three-year period.
- The Facility was co-created by the World Metrological Organisation (WMO), the UN Development Programme and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund. It primarily aims to enhance the availability of meteorological data and early warning systems to improve planning, anticipatory action and reduce climate-induced impacts.
- According to the WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes, the number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over the past five decades, and economic losses have increased sevenfold.
- There are currently large data gaps in basic weather and climate observations which negatively affect the quality of weather forecasts and climate prediction in some areas. This is especially true in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which face challenges such as lack of capacity, resources and information to respond in time and to intervene to protect lives, livelihoods, crops and infrastructure. Closing these data gaps is therefore essential to global adaptation efforts.