UK minister for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly has announced a package of new UK support including £1.8 million for "Start Funds" in Bangladesh and Nepal to help national and international NGOs anticipate and react to disasters, reports UNB.

Meanwhile, £1.3 million will go to the Start Network for civil society projects in Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and the Philippines to help develop disaster risk finance systems in these countries.

The UK has led a push for the international community to take more action ahead of disasters - rather than responding reactively to them and commits £3.1 million in aid to minimise the humanitarian impact of disasters.

At an event jointly hosted by the UK, Germany and UN OCHA, UK minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly warned that conflict, Covid-19 and climate change are driving unprecedented levels of humanitarian need.

He called on donors and aid agencies to "do humanitarian aid differently" and use technology and forecasting to pre-empt disasters such as flooding, drought, or disease outbreak, and reduce their impact on the most vulnerable.

Minister James Cleverly said developments in science, technology and data mean they can identify the risk of disasters better than ever beforehand yet they still too often wait for floods, droughts and diseases to strike before they respond.

"We need to do humanitarian aid differently - to act ahead of shocks, to mitigate their impact. In the face of intensifying climate change, the whole aid system needs to come together to stop, minimise, and address the threat of loss and destruction caused by environmental damage. We know that this proactive approach can save lives."

Protecting vulnerable communities from disasters, and addressing, minimising and averting the loss and damage caused by the impacts of climate change, is a priority for the UK as it hosts the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, in November 2021.

With natural hazards increasing in both frequency and severity as a result of climate change, anticipatory action and disaster risk finance have an increasingly critical role to play, said the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.