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Africa Hydromet Program

What is hydromet?

Hy.dro.met /hī- drō mēt/

Hydrology + Meteorology

  1. The nexus between hydrology and meteorology; a field that studies weather, water, and climate phenomena.
  2. A branch of hydrology and meteorology that encompasses challenges with the water cycle, including weather, rainfall, and storm statistics, to determine the correlation between meteorological and hydrological observation to derive easy-to-use services and products.

The Africa Hydromet Program is a partnership of development organizations working to improve weather, water, and climate services throughout Africa. Investing in people and local economies through the modernization of these services—also known as hydromet services—is crucial to ensuring that countries, communities, and regions build climate and disaster resilience.

Since the program’s start in June 2015, The World Bank Group, The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and other partners have been working together to modernize hydromet services in 15 African countries and four regional climate centers during its first phase. The program holistically addresses modernization needs at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels. This includes modernizing observation infrastructure, interpreting data, and delivering services to offer timely and reliable weather and climate forecasts, especially on impending disaster risks.

Effective and reliable hydromet services help ensure that people can safely evacuate before a disaster hits, government agencies can effectively plan for climate adaptation, farmers can better plan for how to grow their crops, and businesses can make use of timely, accurate data in their decision-making. With useful weather, water, and climate information services, pilots and meteorologists can also plan and make more informed decisions, and water and weather-dependent industries like fishing, electricity, and tourism can be more efficient.


Africa Hydromet Program

“Statistics show that 90% of all disasters on the continent are weather and climate-driven.” – CRED’s Emergency Events Database


The African continent has made significant development achievements in the last few decades; annual growth has averaged 4.5%, but weather, water, and climate-related disasters threaten these accomplishments. Although Africa accounts for less than 4% of global gas emissions, the continent is most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and struggles to adapt. Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade. During this time, natural disasters have affected over 460 million people and resulted in more than 880,000 casualties.

Less than 20% of Sub-Saharan African countries currently provide reliable weather, water, and climate services to their people and economies. African governments often juggle competing priorities for investment. Without adequate funding, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) provides limited services needed to contribute to climate-resilient development and adaptation planning.


The Response

The World Bank, World Meteorological Organization, African Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, Agence Française de Développment (French Development Agency), and World Food Programme came together in a framework partnership under the Africa Hydromet Program. This program is foremost a partnership to address the development challenge of building climate and disaster resilience in Africa.

Phase I of the program runs for eight years and envisages a total investment of approximately $600 million for the modernization of 15 countries’ hydrological and meteorological services and systems. Phase I also includes the modernization of four regional climate centers for the strengthening of early warning and response systems that fortify African countries and build resilience against climate change and disaster risks.

The Africa Hydromet Program supports African countries in their efforts to provide hydromet services for cities and rural communities. Through the program, governments and stakeholders, including academia, collaborate to provide information services for people, communities, and businesses to support long-term sustainable development efforts.

The program will holistically address modernization needs at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels, and will equally support the following:

  • The modernization of observation infrastructure to offer timely and reliable forecasts of impending disaster risks.
  • The delivery of improved weather, climate, and hydrological services to citizens and weather-dependent sectors by enhancing national hydromet service delivery systems.
  • The building and strengthening of institutional capacity for sustaining hydromet services and fostering sustainable developments.


The current portfolio of World Bank hydromet projects, both active and in the pipeline, is about $900 million.

Since 2016, Through the coordinated action of development partners, the Africa Hydromet Program has been active in providing technical assistance and investment support to several vulnerable countries in Africa since 2016.

The World Bank is responding to requests supporting Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, Togo, and Zambia. Support is being offered to Burundi, Cabo Verde, Congo-Brazzaville, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The World Bank is committed to supporting the modernization of and continues to invest in hydromet services and systems. This support includes the following:

  • A joint investment of $8.3 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has been agreed upon to support national efforts to strengthen hydromet and climate services in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This includes improving institutional and regulatory frameworks, strengthening meteorological and hydrological infrastructure, and developing improved hydromet services for agriculture, food security, disaster risk management, and transport (mainly aviation and fluvial navigation). It is expected that the project will benefit about three million people.
  • A $10 million hydromet sub-component project for Ethiopia aims to pilot impact-based early warning systems in the Awash River Basin in Ethiopia. Additionally, the program is being expanded to support the modernization and integration of hydromet services and early warning systems in the country.
  • Capacity, funds, and concerted efforts have been specifically dedicated to improving hydromet services, which are vital to preserving past and future investments, and the Africa Hydromet Program presents this opportunity.
  • Hydromet projects are under preparation with national counterparts to support the modernization of hydromet services in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Togo.

In addition to these projects, regional climate centers and sub-regional centers in countries, including Mali, DRC, and Niger, are also receiving support from the program’s partners such as the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Bank (Af DB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

To meet the urgent need for modernizing hydromet services, the World Bank Group, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the AFD (French Development Agency), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) join forces to implement a program that strives to modernize hydromet services at national, sub-regional, and regional levels in Africa. The European Union, the multilateral Climate Risk Early Warning System (CREWS) initiative, and the Government of Japan strongly support the Africa Hydromet Program. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has also provided critical support to meet the goals of the program.

Partners include:

Projects supported by the Africa Hydromet Program include:

The Democratic Republic of Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo,  investments combining funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and GFDRR will support country efforts to strengthen hydromet and climate services and improve institutional and regulatory frameworks, benefitting about three million people the through a project titled Strengthening Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Services


In the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, a $10 million hydromet component of a World Bank funded Productive Safety Net Project IV aims to pilot impact-based early warning systems in the Awash River Basin. This component supports building resilience against climate and disaster risks.


The Africa Hydromet Program works with the Government of Lesotho to strengthen its ability to pre-empt risks associated with climate change and water resources. Through the Climate and Water Risk Analysis and Early Warning Systems Information Management Systems project.


Through the Mali Country Project, the Africa Hydromet Program works to improve the country’s hydro-meteorological, early warning, and response systems services. The project will benefit highly vulnerable groups, including 80 percent of the country’s population whose livelihoods are dependent on predominantly rain-fed agriculture.


The Africa Hydromet Program supports two projects in the country to promote economic development. One program supported the preparation and implementation of the Enhancing Spatial Data for Flood Risk Management Project, along with GFDRR and partners. This project closed in 2017.

The Climate Resilience: Transforming Hydro-Meteorological Services project, also supported by GFDRR, delivers hydrological and meteorological information services to communities and businesses at risk. The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), from the Climate Investment Funds(CIF), finance this project.


Protecting lives, communities, and property in Niger, the Africa Hydromet program works to improve the country's resilience against natural hazards through engaging in disaster risk management interventions throughout the country. The Disaster Risk Management and Urban Development Project also works to strengthen the government's capacity to forecast and respond to disasters and emergencies.


Serving a state in Africa’s most populous country, the Africa Hydromet Program, through the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, works to improve the capacity of Oyo State to effectively manage flood risks in the city of Ibadan.


Since almost 50% of power generation in Rwanda comes from small-scale hydropower, the Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and Conservation project, the program works to enhance landscape management for improved environmental services and climate resilience through GFDRR and with funds from GCF.


Strengthening the capacity of institutions to manage risks from flooding and land degradation in rural and urban areas, the Africa Hydromet Program is present in Togo through the Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project.


The inaugural African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) Africa Hydromet Forum took place in September 2017, at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The forum brought high-level representatives together to provide strategic insight on improving hydrological, meteorological, and early-warning services to achieve climate and disaster resilience as part of Africa’s sustainable development strategy. Watch: Africa Hydromet Forum 2017

The initiative was led by The World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the African Union Commission in partnership with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the African Development Bank (AfDB), The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).


To build consensus and momentum for modernizing weather, water, and climate information services for climate-resilient growth, adaptation planning, and sustainable development.


The AMCOMET Africa Hydromet Forum:

  1. Strengthens regional leadership and country ownership for modernizing weather, water and climate services in support of climate and disaster risk management
  2. Demonstrates the socio-economic benefits of hydromet services modernization
  3. Promotes south-south exchange of good practices and lessons from existing programs
  4. Enhances collaboration with private sector, civil society and academia
  5. Calls for concrete actions at continental, regional and national levels for improving hydromet services and their delivery to economies and communities.

More information on the forum can be found via: https://www.gfdrr.org/amcomet-africa-hydromet-forum-2017


The Africa Hydromet Program

The Africa Hydromet Program: Strengthening Climate and Disaster Resilience in Africa.