Investing in shock responsive social protection systems and safety nets is an increasingly important to address the needs of the extreme poor and cushioning the impact of shocks when they occur.
A growing body of evidence shows the importance of safety nets in reducing household vulnerability, especially when they combine cash transfers with support to strengthen other resilience capacities, including access to financial services and resilient livelihood pathways.
In Ethiopia, a comparison of Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and non-PSNP households following a drought shows that PSNP households do better in both in terms of absorbing the initial impact of the shock on their food security and in terms of recovery to pre-drought food security status (2 years vs. 4 years). Households with more than one hectare of land fare even better. Non-PSNP households with less than one hectare of land were the most vulnerable to the initial impact of drought and had the slowest recovery.