GFDRR works with developing countries to improve their ability to understand, predict, and warn their citizens of hydrological and meteorological (hydromet) hazards. We support governments in strengthening their hydromet monitoring, forecasting and early warning systems, including through the upgrade of technological systems that gather, analyze, and produce hydromet data, and the provision of training on how best to share and use that knowledge for decision-making purposes. Across our efforts, we engage closely with national hydromet services and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 


Photo Credit: Ralph Kresge/NOAA 

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Highlights from Hydromet Services and Early Warning Systems


Exploring national legislative frameworks for public-private engagement in hydromet services.

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A deep dive into the experience of eight countries in leveraging private sector partnerships.

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A brief on emerging innovations to keep people safe from disruptive weather,

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Pillars of our Hydromet Services and Early Warning Systems Work

Upgrading Infrastructure

GFDRR delivers technical assistance in hydromet and early-warning systems (EWS), advising service management how to modernize and operate information systems needed to collect data, develop forecasts, and communicate the findings to the public and to risk managers.

  • The Hydromet team advises countries on the scope and composition of end-to-end hydromet service production systems that are sustainable within national fiscal and institutional constraints. The team also helps countries to make these systems operational.
  • After severe flooding in Sri Lanka this year, the team commissioned an assessment which concluded that improved forecasting and dissemination could have prevented damage. Subsequently, GFDRR developed an investment program which will be included in a larger WBG DRM operation.
Vladimir Tsirkunov
Anna-Maria Bogdanova
Training and Capacity Building

Even with upgraded technology, developing countries struggle due to insufficient expert manpower.

  • In cooperation with WMO, the Hydromet initiative ensures hydromet agency staff—including observers, ICT experts, forecasters and managers—have access to the best international approaches and learn to apply them.
  • The program also encourages governments to support capacity building, institutional strengthening, and resourcing to properly operate and maintain systems.
Vladimir Tsirkunov
Anna-Maria Bogdanova

The Hydromet initiative plays a unique role globally: On the ground, it brings expertise to WBG teams, designing and implementing projects that strengthen national meteorological and hydrological agencies.

  • This can involve institutional coordination, such as integrating the work of separate departments for sustainable hydromet and EWS service. The initiative also advises agencies on how to apply information to manage risk and improve productivity in weather-dependent sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.
  • GFDRR also maintains a strong partnership with the WMO and other development partners on its hydromet work. The WMO provides access to technical knowledge and expertise and links to the international policy dialogue. In turn, GFDRR helps leverage investment and ensures coordination and common approaches across partners.
Vladimir Tsirkunov
Anna-Maria Bogdanova
Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)

The specialized Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative saves lives, assets and livelihoods through increased access to early weather warnings and risk information for people in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – the world’s most vulnerable countries.

The CREWS Trust Fund has invested over US$ 40 million in projects in 44 LDCs and SIDS – and has mobilized an additional US$ 270 million from public funds of other development partners. You can access information on CREWS here.

The World Bank/GFDRR implements projects funded through the CREWS Trust Fund. You can access more information on CREWS projects here .

An accurate and timely early warning system can make the difference between life and death. CREWS projects help governments to better forecast and quickly alert people about flood and drought risks. With a long-standing operational experience and the ability to leverage additional funding, the World Bank and GFDRR are helping to increase crucial investments in early warning systems and to provide wider economic, environmental, and social co-benefits such as gender inclusion.

Through its Action Plan on Adaptation and Resilience, the World Bank Group has committed to substantially increase financing for quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services in at least 30 additional countries. As a CREWS Implementing Partner, the World Bank Group / GFDRR collaborates with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to increase access by vulnerable communities around the globe to live-saving early warning systems and services. For more information, you can click here.

Australia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom contribute to the pooled CREWS Trust Fund and provide oversight to CREWS operations through the CREWS Steering Committee.

Learn more about the Impacts of CREWS in nearly 50 countries around the world here.

Hydromet Services and Early Warning Systems By The Numbers

Hydromet Services and Early Warning Systems Grants Around the World
Weather Sudan
Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)

The CREWS initiative saves lives, assets and livelihoods through increased access to early weather warnings and risk information.