Disaster Risk Financing Pakistan


We are enabling frontline humanitarians to access early, predictable funds to protect communities from forecasted heatwaves, flood, and drought.

Multi-Hazard Disaster Risk Financing


In Pakistan, Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) is enabling national level responders to access new forms of financing that allow them to proactively manage risks and move power and resources closer to the frontline.

 

 

Disaster risk financing (DRF) allows humanitarians to be better prepared in advance of cyclical events by quantifying risks in advance of crises or disasters, pre-positioning funds, and releasing them according to pre-agreed protocols.

 

DRF is made up of three key pillars: 

  • Use of science to understand and quantify the risks
  • Development of collaborative pre-planned contingency plans
  • Pre-positioning of financing ready for release when conditions on the parametric model are met 

 

Together, these components ensure funding can be efficiently channeled to frontline responders before a crisis turns into a disaster.

 

Contingency planning is central to a DRF system. Contingency plans tend to be developed at a sub-national level: either at district or livelihood-zone level, whichever delineation is appropriate to the context. The process uses participatory and inclusive approaches, working with people at risk and local groups and organisations to design and validate planned actions, and in some places, to enable local groups to have ownership of plan implementation. Contingency plans usually reflect three severity scenarios (mild, moderate, and severe at a minimum) including costs, and may also cover one or more windows of action such as anticipation and/or response. Another crucial component of DRF is the preposition of financing - financing is realised when the agreed thresholds on the parametric model have been reached according to predefined operational protocols. 

 


 

Thanks to funding provided by FCDO and the Government of the Netherlands, Start Network is able pilot the first multi-hazard DRF system until the end of 2021 for the following three hazards.

Drought


The overall aim is to build resilience to droughts in Pakistan. Most drought monitoring programmes in Pakistan focus on the summer monsoon. The secondary winter growing season is, however, also of economic and agricultural importance. The vulnerability of the Pakistan population to winter crop and pasture failures motivated Start Network to implement a DRF for the provinces Punjab and Sindh (with the aim to expand to Balochistan next year).

 

Since March 2020, Start Network has been working with the University of Reading (UoR), to implement a drought Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) system for the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan, focusing on the winter growing season. Specifically, developing an anticipatory, operational drought model (based on the TAMSAT-ALERT system to predict NDVI), to trigger funds for early action intervention.

 

This effort plays a key role in the Start Network’s mission to protect some of the most vulnerable farmers in Pakistan against the devastating impacts of drought.

 

Important note: the aim is not to replace what has been done in country, but rather to build on the metrics that have already been monitored and produced within the agencies in Pakistan. By building on the information already used, and available, we can produce a model that is objectively actionable, for risk management and used by members. This provides a quantitative, probabilistic, and granular output, of the sort that is required for rapid release of pre-positioned funds via the DRF. 

 

Partnerships

Model developers: The University of Reading built a model which forecasts the number of people likely to be affected by moderate winter drought, using the TAMSAT-ALERT probabilistic framework. Since the Pakistan initiative started the UoR has provided monthly progress reports as well as a full validation report. They have also provided expert advice to the in-country Drought Technical Working Group and they have liaised closely with Start Network on the implementation of formal contingency plans and trigger threshold settings.

 

The Drought Technical Working Group has been another key partner in this initiative. Along with the University of Reading, they have helped design and provide feedback on the implementation of the formal contingency plans and threshold settings decisions. The DTWG also performs critical technical, operational, and coordination functions of the DRF system in Pakistan. The Chair and Co-chair of the TWG are Malick Shahbaz and Syed Sulaiman respectively.

 

Access relevant resource documents here.

Flood


Jeremy Benn Associates (JBA) was appointed to build the flood model in Pakistan.

 

JBA was selected to provide scientific modelling expertise to develop a real-time and forecast flood model for the Indus River basin.  The goal was to develop a fully-automated early warning system, which provides daily forecast of flood conditions on which a series of anticipatory actions can be devised to reduce overall humanitarian impact.

 

Using the Copernicus Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) with JBAs Flood Foresight technology the model outputs daily probabilistic forecasts of flood inundation extents and depths. From these digital maps the model can estimate the population at risk in the short, medium and long-term.  The model quantifies the flood risk to the population through a traditional probabilistic catastrophe risk model. See feature article here.

 

 

The model runs for the whole of the Indus Basin[1], outlined in the map above. The percentage of Pakistan within the Indus River basin is approximately 58%; it includes 132 districts but does not include all of the area of each district. For example, the district of Karachi is included in the Indus Basin but the city of Karachi is not. To see a detailed map of which districts fall within the Indus Basin please see Flood Technical Report (appendix A).

 

JBA will host, maintain, and support the system for an initial period covering the 2020 and 2021 monsoon seasons. Ownership long term to be at country level.

 

Partnerships

Since the Pakistan initiative started JBA have provided monthly progress reports as well as a full validation report. JBA have also engaged with Start Network members and local stakeholders in the development and customisation of the model build.

The Flood Technical Working Group has been another key partner in this initiative. The TWG have helped design and provide feedback on the implementation of the formal contingency plans and threshold settings decisions. The TWG also perform critical technical, operational and coordination functions of the DRF system in Pakistan. The Chair of the TWG is Mr. Liaqat

Important note: the aim is not to replace what has been done in-country, but rather to build on the metrics that have already been monitored and produced within the agencies in Pakistan. By building on the information already used, and is available, we can produce a model that is objectively actionable, for risk management and used by members. This provides a quantitative, probabilistic, and granular output, of the sort that is required for rapid release of pre-positioned funds via the DRF.

 

Access relevant resource documents here.

Heatwave


The overall aim is to build resilience to heatwaves in Pakistan. Heatwave conditions are the major cause of weather-related casualties in Pakistan. Heatwave is defined as the number of days when, for some consecutive days, the temperature is greater than a certain threshold, keeping in view the climatology of the station.

 

Extreme heat can lead to dangerous, even deadly, health consequences, including heat stress and heatstroke. Climate change drives temperatures higher, increasing the frequency and severity of heatwaves. The anticipated rise in temperatures and frequency of heatwaves in Pakistan highlights the need for inter-agency coordination to mitigate the impact of these disastrous events in the future.

 

During the hottest months, Start Network implements its heatwave Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) system for several urban locations in Pakistan. Specifically, an anticipatory, operational heatwave model (based on the NOAA GFS model to calculate heat index values), is used to trigger funds for early action intervention.

 

This effort plays a key role in the Start Network’s mission to protect some of the most vulnerable in Pakistan against the devastating impacts of heatwaves.

 

Important note: the aim is not to replace what has been done in-country, but rather to build on the metrics that have already been monitored and produced within the agencies in Pakistan. By building on the information already used, and is available, we can produce a model that is objectively actionable, for risk management and used by members. This provides a quantitative, probabilistic, and granular output, of the sort that is required for rapid release of pre-positioned funds via the DRF.

 

Partnerships

Research and development: The heatwave model and process builds on Start Network’s Anticipation work carried out with Dr Erica Thompson (LSE) in 2018. Since the heatwave DRF initiative started in 2020, in addition to internal analyses,  external skill and threshold analyses have been carried out by Dr Maidment (University of Reading). Dr Maidment has also advanced the running and operations of the model.

 

The Heatwave Technical Working Group has been another key partner in this initiative. The TWG has helped to design and provide feedback on the implementation of the formal contingency plans and threshold settings decisions. The TWG also performs critical technical, operational, and coordination functions of the DRF system in Pakistan. Chair and Co-chair of the TWG are Jennifer Ankrom and Sumera Javeed respectively.

 

Access relevant resource documents here.

 

 

2020 HEATWAVE EVENT

On the 20th of May, the forecast predicted the maximum and minimum temperatures to exceed the model’s threshold settings at Port Qasim, Karachi. A 2-day heatwave event on the 26th-27th of May was therefore triggered. As per the pre-agreed protocols, this triggered the release of £36,000 to Action Against Hunger (ACF) and HANDS who had been pre-selected to roll out preventative, mitigating, and response activities in the Karachi area.

 

The model forecasted a heatwave event with a 6 day lead time predicting a maximum temperature of 45.3°C and a minimum of 31.4°C for the 26th of May. However, the maximum and minimum temperatures decreased by 5.6°C and 3.3°C respectively on the observed day.

 

Because the observed temperatures dipped below the pre-agreed threshold values (which triggers a heatwave event in Karachi) this event can be termed a false positive. A false positive event – in this context – is when the model predicts a 2-day heatwave event, but on the observed day (i.e. day 0) the event does not occur. As a result, HANDS did a long-term operation to prevent harm and damage from the subsequent heatwaves that might hit that season.

 

Learning

The humanitarian impact of extreme heat is an increasing concern, especially in low-income countries with limited access to quality healthcare and informal dwellings which can trap heat. This report analyses the knowledge, attitude, and practice of Karachi residents in relation to managing extreme heat. It was conducted in 2020 following a messaging campaign led by HANDS related to extreme heat. The project was triggered through a disaster risk financing approach, using a heatwave model to trigger funding automatically when extreme heat was forecast.

 

Access the KAP survey here.