FbF Manual Introduction


How Forecast-based Financing is changing the humanitarian world

Anticipation instead of reaction: with Forecast-based Financing (FbF), the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is reshaping the future of the humanitarian system. Protecting lives and livelihoods in the event of a disaster – by using innovative technologies, data and weather forecasts and working in a global network.

The aim:

To forecast extreme weather events, take early action and thereby prevent human suffering. How does it work?Based on forecast information and risk analysis, FbF releases humanitarian funding for pre-agreed activities.For early actions to be performed quickly and efficiently before disaster strikes, funds are allocated automatically when a specific threshold is reached. The key to this is the so-called Early Action Protocol (EAP),which clearly defines the most important tasks and responsibilities.


Graphic which illustrates the idea of Forecast-based Financing

How FbF Works

Key components of Forecast-based Financing


Where and when funds will be allocated and assistance will be provided is decided according to specific threshold values based on weather and climate forecasts, so-called triggers, which are defined for each region. To establish these, experts analyse the relevant natural hazards, assess the impacts of previous disasters and look at vulnerability data.

Early actions

As soon as a forecast reaches the specified threshold value and activates the trigger, early actions are initiated. These predefined measures aim to minimise the impacts of extreme weather events and save human lives. This way, the populations at risk are able to protect themselves, their families and their livelihoods.

Financing mechanism

A dedicated financing mechanism is the key for taking fast and effective action before disaster strikes. This is why Forecast-based Action was set up – a fund which automatically allocates resources when a trigger is activated and early actions are necessary. The fund is available to all Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, which have successfully developed an EAP.

Summarized in the Early Action Protocols (EAPs)

These components are summarized in an Early Action Protocol (EAP). The EAPs serve as action guidelines that delineate roles and responsibilities for quick action when a trigger is reached.

How this Manual works

Are you a National Society, or government authority engaged in Disaster Risk Management? A meteorologist,hydrologist, humanitarian, academic, or simply generally interested in the Red Cross Red Crescent FbF methodology? Then we have developed this Manual for you.

The following chapters outline the steps National Societies and partners undertake to implement FbF, empower National Societies, government authorities, Hydro-Met agencies and communities for enhanced Early Warning Early Action.