The Early Action Protocol hazard and trigger
July 2021: EAP approved
March 2022: Trigger reached
April 2022: Early actions launched
The Early Action Protocol (EAP) trigger anticipates a worsening food crisis based on the food insecurity assessment produced by the Cadre Harmonisé, which observes IPC 3 or more for the following lean season and the assessment of production conditions.
The EAP was initially planned based on triggers for two successive phases:
i) the first trigger was meant to be met in April of any given year, when the season forecast Fifth generation seasonal forecast system (SEAS5) provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), with a lead time of three months. If this forecast showed a 40% (or higher) probability that precipitation will be in the lowest tercile ("below normal"), the conditions for the first trigger will be met and will launch the first round of early action activities.
ii) the second trigger was supposed to be met in November of the same year as the first trigger, this one anticipates a future food crisis based on the food insecurity assessment observed by the Cadre Harmonisé/IPCI of IPC 3 or more for the following year’s lean season and the assessment of production conditions in addition to the assessment of the previous rainy season Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM) early warning crop monitor (of below 50), with a lead time of five months.
In this instance, the activation to the EAP in April 2022 was based on the second trigger which was met in March 2022 despite the initial plan intended the two triggers be activated in a consecutive manner. The alarming deterioration in the food security situation in Niger led to the activation based on the second trigger only, with early actions that support the cereal banks and cash distribution in the Zinder region.