The 45th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Forum meeting in Addis Ababa

IGAD's Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) on Monday (February 6) opened the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Forum (GHACOF 45) for March, April, and May 2017.

Ethiopia's Deputy Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity, Engineer Wondimu Tekale presided over the opening along with the Director of Agriculture and Environment Division-IGAD, Mohamed Moussa, and representatives from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), and USAID. 

GHACOF brings together  officials in charge of climate and weather - as well as line ministries dealing with food security, livestock development, and public health - from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, along with climate and weather experts from other parts of the world, development partners, and media practitioners.

It looks at the past quarter and provides projections for the next quarter.  Engineer Wondimu reminded participants that the Forum was convened just as the region is concerned with the drought effects resulting from the El Nino phenomenon of 2015/16, and the potential effects of the subsequent La Nina-led drought. He recognized ICPAC's efforts in "developing reliable, proactive, and timely climate information in order to facilitate scientific guidance for decision-makers".

Mr. Mohamed Moussa speaking for the Executive Secretary of IGAD estimated that over 17 million people were severely affected by the drought and would need humanitarian support. He said IGAD, in collaboration with the UN, would be issuing an appeal in the next few days to mobilize funds for those affected by the current severe drought.

Development partners present, including USAID, DFID, and the UN system, pledged support to GHACOF as a key tool for the region in collection, analysis, and dissemination of climate information.