The International Activities Office (IAO) manages the WMO Voluntary Cooperation Program (VCP) for the U.S. National Weather Service. The VCP is a technical program focused on meeting the needs of WMO Member countries to implement WMO Scientific and Technical Programs. The VCP provides support for Member countries, at their request, in the form of equipment and services or training and education. The VCP is maintained by voluntary contributions received from Members for the purpose of meeting official requests proposing cooperation projects in various fields of meteorology and operational hydrology.
U.S. National Weather Service administers approximately US$2M each year in funds authorized by the Department of State
Importance of the Program Since its inception at U.S. behest in 1967, the WMO's VCP Program has provided training and equipment to help developing countries participate in WMO Programs, particularly the World Weather Watch which provides continuous, vital atmospheric and oceanic data and products to:
- Give the U.S. and other nations the basic information needed to forecast weather events and assist with critical information on natural and man-made disasters that affect life, safety, water use, and crop yields around the globe;
- Support civil aviation, marine navigation, and basic global data needs for industry and many U.S. agencies, including the Department of Defense; and
- Monitor changes in climate and freshwater availability.
Programs of this type are important to the United States in that the NWS requires meteorological and hydrological data from outside its borders for forecasting severe weather and extreme climate, and for international air travel. Other parts of the U.S. national economy, in their routine operations, depend on weather and climate data from other parts of the world (e.g., shipping, power companies and agricultural interests).
Under VCP procedures, Members are invited to submit official request forms under the VCP. After review of the request in the WMO Secretariat and subsequent consideration by the President of WMO, a consolidated list of project requests under the VCP is circulated among Member countries. Donor Members able and willing to offer support under the VCP, decide what support will be provided and, in most cases, make the arrangements. The WMO Secretariat, upon notification of support, assists as required and also arranges for the agreement between the donor's Government and the recipient's Government.
Four-month fellowships are provided to visiting meteorologists as part of the U.S. contribution to the VCP. The fellowship provides a stipend for living expenses (housing, meals and transportation). Health insurance is also provided through WMO.
Candidates should submit a VCP fellowship application to WMO through their Permanent Representative to the WMO. For additional information click here.
For additional information on the World Weather Watch and other WMO Programs click on the graphic below to go to the WMO Home Page .* It will open in a new window.