Italian contribution allows United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to expand early warnings for early action in Kenya

On 11 June 2024, the Government of Italy signed an agreement with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to strengthen early warning for early action systems in Kenya. Under this agreement, Italy is providing EUR 1.5 million over the period of 2024-2027.

To mark the occasion, during his first visit to Kenya as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Head of UNDRR, Mr. Kamal Kishore signed the agreement at the Embassy of Italy in Nairobi with Ambassador, H.E. Roberto Natali.

Kenya faces significant threats from hazards such as flood and drought. As seen during this year’s El Nino season, more than 300,000 people have been affected by heavy rains and floods, which caused the displacement of over 290,000 of them.

An early warning of just 24 hours has the potential to reduce ensuing damages by 30%.

Despite these benefits, only 45% of countries in Africa report the existence of such systems, according to UNDRR’s 2023 report on the Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems.

To address this gap, the UN Secretary-General launched the Early Warnings for All initiative, which supports the acceleration of regional efforts such as the African Union’s flagship Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS) Programme. Under this agreement, UNDRR’s Regional Office for Africa will enhance the implementation of the programme in Kenya by strengthening DRR coordination and risk governance mechanisms.

This includes facilitating the training for national officials on the use of an open-source system for real-time monitoring and forecasting of natural hazards to enable decision-makers to take early actions.

“We thank Italy for its strong commitment to disaster risk reduction and its steadfast support of Africa. This agreement will enhance disaster resilience in Kenya and ultimately save lives and livelihoods” said Mr. Kishore.

“The initiative we are launching today represents a crucial intervention in a country like Kenya, where the risk of disasters is a growing concern. The Italian role is certainly helping to lead the transition from disaster management to risk management” stated the Ambassador of Italy, H.E., Roberto Natali.

The AMHEWAS network is composed of five centres at continental, regional and national levels: the others are based at the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa; the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey; the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (IGAD-ICPAC) in Nairobi and Emergency Operation and Communication Center’ Situation Room (EOCC) in Dodoma

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

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