Both household-level and systemic changes are needed to ensure that households in Ethiopia are able to withstand frequent, prolonged shocks such as drought.
Ethiopia has experienced significant poverty reduction in recent years, but is home to one of the most shock-prone areas of the world. Household, community, and systemic changes are all necessary to increase resilience.
Ethiopia is vulnerable to severe, recurring droughts as well as increasing rainfall variability and rising temperatures, conflict, invasive species, and environmental degradation. Prolonged drought from 2015 to 2017 followed by heavy rain and flooding in 2018 left many households facing significant food insecurity. These prolonged and recurrent natural disasters put development gains made in recent years at risk and place a significant burden on the national government and the international humanitarian community.
The Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), to which USAID is the largest bilateral donor, is one of the largest safety net programs in the world. The program has a target caseload of more than six million beneficiaries and aims to prevent the depletion of household assets, stimulate markets and improve access to services, and rehabilitate and enhance the natural environment through labor-based public works.
In addition, international organizations work in Ethiopia to increase food security, build sustainable livelihoods, and improve vulnerable households’ ability to withstand shocks. Ethiopia’s drylands are particularly vulnerable to weather-related shocks, so activities that improve market linkages, increase access to key livestock inputs and better livestock health services, help construct water harvesting schemes, and support livelihood diversification are particularly important for building resilience.
Opportunities for Strengthening Resilience
The 2015-17 drought demonstrated a number of factors that help boost households’ recovery from shocks in Ethiopia. These include increased pastoralist access to fodder and water, markets, and veterinary services; livelihood opportunities; investing in human and social capital; and increasing access to hazard insurance and correctly timed food and cash transfers. However, limited livelihood diversification, coupled with a lack of off-farm income and an increasing number of landless youth, poses significant challenges to the country. Systemic factors that currently hinder community resilience must be addressed through programming that complements household-level interventions.
More About Ethiopia
Ethiopia Resilience Factsheet
17 Jun 2022 - USAID
To increase resilience in Ethiopia, USAID’s activities collectively aim to reduce the risk of disasters and strengthen vulnerable populations’ response to shocks.
Toward Shock-Responsive Social Protection: Lessons from the COVID-19 Response in Six Countries
23 May 2022 - Maintains Program: Research Supporting Social Services to Adapt to Shocks
COVID-19 has triggered an expansion of social protection programs worldwide, necessitating innovation in how social protection is delivered during crises.
Effect of Households' Psychosocial Capacities on their Resilience to Shocks and Shock Coping Strategies
18 May 2022 - Tim Frankenberger, TANGO International
This presentation was shared by Tim Frankenberger (TANGO International) at the Resilience Evidence Forum in October of 2017.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation
08 Nov 2021 - Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ISSLI)
“Our collaboration with ILSSI has enabled us to increase milk production and sales.” — Alemu Demoze, Chairman of the Genet Lerobit Dairy Cooperative in Ethiopia