Gernot Laganda is leading the Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programs at the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP). He supports WFP Country Offices and the governments they serve to understand the effects of climate change on food security, develop strategic measures to reduce climate risks in country programs, and make innovative climate finance instruments work for vulnerable communities. Gernot joined WFP from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where he managed the world’s largest climate change adaptation program for smallholder farmers.
A geoscientist by training, he spent the past 20 years working at the nexus between disasters and development - holding posts with NGOs supporting disaster relief and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; serving as Humanitarian Program Specialist with the Austrian Development Agency; and managing climate and environmental programs with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in South Africa and the Asia/Pacific region.
In responding to COVID-19, governments must not lose sight of the importance of building resilience to extreme weather.
Gernot Laganda reflects on how international organizations address aid, development, and climate change.