German Statement during the joint event of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council on the theme “El Niño 2023-2024: Actions for the safety, sustainability and resilience of people and the planet”, 30 April 2024

Joint Event UNGA/ECOSOC on El Nino

Joint Event UNGA/ECOSOC on El Nino, © Germany UN

30.04.2024 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Frank Jarasch, ECOSOC Ambassador.

Excellencies, colleagues,

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and add the following remarks in its national capacity.

We have been warned for a long time that this year’s El Niño phenomenon would be a particularly severe one. And indeed, we are seeing the consequences of extreme weather events around the globe. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the most vulnerable groups of society tend to be the most exposed and vulnerable to this kind of crisis. This brings us to the need for humanitarian attention to the El Niño phenomenon. In that regard, we welcome the early appointment of Ms. Reena Ghelani as the Climate Crisis Coordinator for the El Niño/La Niña response.

As Germany, we remain committed to provide humanitarian assistance to people most affected by El Niño: As emergency assistance, but, crucially, also in anticipation of El Niño-related extreme weather events. Allow me to focus on the latter here. In in a large number of cases, we can predict when and where impacts are to be expected. This enables us to not only prepare the response in advance, but shift the response forward.

As many of you know, Germany has long been an advocate for anticipatory action in humanitarian assistance. The current El Niño is another reminder why we advocate for its expansion. Extreme weather events often require costly humanitarian responses that can be avoided, if we used available forecasts to mitigate these needs. Having set-up anticipatory action frameworks, many humanitarian organisations that we support were able to start their El Niño “response” (or rather anticipation) already last summer.

In Honduras, the Red Cross already distributed anticipatory cash assistance and water treatment kits in June 2023.

In Kenya, it was FAO who already became active in June 2023, distributing moisture-tolerant seeds and vaccinating animals.

These are just two examples that demonstrate the potential of anticipatory action that could be further scaled-up if more funding was available – a goal that we are currently also actively discussing within the Grand Bargain. In line with our climate foreign policy strategy, anticipatory action and adaptation to the consequences of the climate crisis are important instruments for mitigating or even completely avoiding the humanitarian consequences of these extreme weather events as well as structural deterioration in living conditions.

This is why Germany will continue to commit 5% of its humanitarian assistance to anticipatory action and we call on other to increase spending as well.

Thank you.

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