Collaboration is key

As detailed in our most recent annual report (for 2022), we were supported as a specialist IFRC global Reference Centre by our hosts, the Netherlands Red Cross in The Hague, which also helps with human resources and legal affairs, and the ICRC and the IFRC secretariat, as well as the American, Australian, British, Danish, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross.

Other recent contributors and partners were (alphabetically): the Atlantic Council, CICERO Centre for International Climate Climate-KIC/EIT, Concern Worldwide, Cordaid, DAI Global Belgium, the European Investment Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the German Agency for International Cooperation, Inter-American Development Bank, IOP Publishing, the Liechtenstein government, Met Office (UK), Overseas Development Institute (UK), Practical Action, SouthSouthNorth, Stichting Deltares (Netherlands), Tetra Tech ARD (US), the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank and the World Food Programme.

We are also grateful for contributions from the Universities of Bristol, Reading, Stockholm, Twente, Umea, and VU (Amsterdam).

One of our most important multilateral partnerships is the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership, intended to protect a billion people in the developing world from extreme weather and launched at the UN General Assembly in 2019.

We work closely with the German, Netherlands and British Red Cross on the anticipatory action they’re supporting around the world, directly providing technical advice in the field to many of the 30-plus National Societies implementing early action programmes, and with the forecast-based action team at the IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund.

Our scientists are members of the World Weather Attribution group, which also includes the Netherlands met service, KNMI, whose CEO since 2022 is Maarten van Aalst, our former director, and Oxford University.

Other national meteorological services we work closely with include Kenya’s and the UK Met Office and, on forecast-based financing operations, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department and Ecuador’s Instituto Nacional de Meteorología en Hidrología.

Our work on climate-centred social protection includes close collaboration on training with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and with the World Bank in the Sahel to support early action there.

We work on the design and delivery of innovation learning and advocacy with the Adrienne Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, the Parsons New School for Design, and the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Applied Improvisation Network.

The National Societies

The 191 National Societies are the backbone of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, each comprising an unparalleled network of community-based volunteers and staff, with roles that vary in detail from country to country but all united by the Fundamental Principles and all striving for the good of humanity. (Photo: 2019 Solferino Red Cross Red Crescent youth gathering.)

National Society volunteers are often first on the scene when a disaster strikes. And they remain active within affected communities long after everyone else has left; in some cases, they are the only organizations able to operate in countries experiencing disasters, conflicts, or a collapse in social fabric.

The former Secretary General of the Netherlands Red Cross, Marieke Van Schaik, has said: “I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved on climate in the Red Cross Red Crescent – much of which stems from the amazing partnership between the Climate Centre, the IFRC and many of its members, and in recent years also the ICRC.

“I could mention simply the momentum on climate in so many National Societies, the adoption of IFRC’s Strategy 2030 with climate as one of its top priorities and the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations. Or the transformational impact the Climate Centre has had in making the entire humanitarian system more anticipatory rather than just focused on relief, including the development of forecast-based financing and the establishment of the Anticipation Hub.”

The Risk-informed Early Action Partnership
Partnership profile

The Risk-informed Early Action Partnership

REAP’s mission is to drive a systemic shift towards acting earlier to reduce the impacts of disasters, mobilize commitments and inspire action. Its Early Action: The State of Play 2022 report asks: are we doing enough to ensure people are safe from disasters? Two initiatives that could galvanise collaboration on risk-informed action are the UN initiative to bring the whole global population under an early warning umbrella by 2027, and the Global Shield against Climate Risks.

More about REAP


The International Committee of the Red Cross, in the words of its own mission statement, “is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence, and to provide them with assistance.

“The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

“Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.”

Climate is changing everywhere, the ICRC adds, but it is people living in fragile circumstances who feel the effects most severely. The Climate Centre is advancing practice, policy and research on the intersection of climate and conflict by helping the ICRC integrate climate risk into its operations globally, including with capacity building, a dedicated help desk, research and policy.

(Photo: Lafoole, Somalia. ICRC support for an agricultural cooperative with training, drought-resistant seeds, farming tools and cash.)



The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network, whose secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in virtually every country in the world, bringing together more than 16 million volunteers for the good of humanity.

The IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It reaches 160 million people every year through long-term services, development programmes and disaster response, gaining strength lies in its huge volunteer network, unparalleled community-based expertise, and its independence and neutrality.

The IFRC is guided principally by its Strategy 2030, which puts the climate and environmental crisis at the top of a list of five global challenges, followed by evolving crises and disasters, health and well-being, migration and identity, and values, power and inclusion. They are interconnected and will require committed local action to manage them and bring about positive global change.

(Photo: A Japanese Red Cross team visiting Herat city in Afghanistan meet a village Red Crescent committee for disaster risk reduction, supported by the IFRC.)

Partnership profile

Prudence Foundation

Our new (2023) 18-month research partnership with the Prudence Foundation explores the impacts of air pollution, extreme heat and humidity on people’s health. It will identify important gaps in current health literature and culminate in a pilot study comprising an action plan to address the health impacts of climate change in an Asian city. The Prudence Foundation is the community investment arm of Prudential.

(Photo: Ecuador Red Cross volunteers measure volcanic ash in the air from the Sangay volcano.)

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Prudence Foundation

Acting ahead of floods

The Kenya Red Cross Society conducted a multi-stakeholder simulation exercise in March 2022 to test its early action protocols in order to enable better coordination, preparedness and application in River Nzoia basin.

Working with the local government and other agencies, the villages of Igigo, Mudembe and Khumwanda were mobilized through a cash for work scheme to participate in early actions like placement of flood markers, clearing dykes and unblocking drains.

Kenya Red Cross disaster risk management