The ‘preparedness’ phase is the “knowledge and capacities developed by governments, response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to and recover from the impacts of likely, imminent or current (weather-related) disasters (United Nations General Assembly, 2016)”. Preparedness is a part of the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) (IASC, 2015) and contains the following components:
Preparedness builds on the ‘prevention’ phase and sets the ground for the government and other agricultural stakeholders to understand, develop and coordinate an effective response and recovery system. It includes all actions for reducing loss and damage across actors at national and local levels, but also across borders reaching other potentially affected countries.
The ERP approach reflects the IASC Transformative Agenda, ensuring that response preparedness efforts of relevant organizations are inclusive and coordinated. Legal frameworks and capacities are to be in place prior to the disaster. All preparedness efforts must be supported by formal institutional, legal and budgetary capacities and take place at all levels (more details in Phase 4 Response and 5 Recovery).
This applies also to social protection systems that 1) aim at enhancing the economic and social situation of the extreme poor and vulnerable (disaster-independent assistance) and 2) programmes that come into effect after extreme weather events. Organizations such as the FAO developed the concept of ‘risk-informed and shock-responsive’ social protection systems, based on the results of the risk and vulnerability assessment (see Annex 2). It includes early action plans and contingency funds triggered by early warning systems. Further, humanitarian aid may be disbursed through social assistance delivery mechanisms, assuming they are effective.
Due to the multitude of activities that need to be coordinated simultaneously, various stakeholders at national and local levels are involved with the support of humanitarian international organizations like UNOCHA, IFRC and national and international meteorological agencies (e.g. World Meteorological Organization) for weather forecasts.
For the agricultural sector at the national level, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to lead, together with the Ministry of Finance and ministries related to humanitarian response and emergency, and in close cooperation with affected ministries such as rural development, transport and infrastructure. At the meso level, the sub-national government collaborates with the media, the private sector, civil society and communities (further details under Phase 3.A Step 2 Cross-Cutting Coordination). Local banks have an important function as the demand for emergency loans increases significantly after extreme weather events (see Phase 2.A Pre-Disaster Financing).
The two components aim at answering the following key questions:
- Which preparedness mechanisms complement preventive measures, disaster financing and insurance to reduce potential losses and damages in the agricultural sector?
- What are the consequences of preparedness measures on insurance?
- How can the insurance industry contribute to enhancing preparedness?