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 one of the most shock-prone areas of the world. Strengthened resilience is required at the household, community and systemic levels.
Ethiopia is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, including weather-related risks, plant and animal pests and diseases, and environmental degradation. Droughts are more frequent, severe rainfall is more variable and temperatures are rising. Conflict and insecurity have increased in many parts of the country, and inflation, unemployment and economic inequities affect most communities. Shocks and stresses associated with all these factors put development gains at risk and place a significant burden on the national government and the international humanitarian community.
Resilience-strengthening efforts in the highlands and lowlands build on the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) interventions to build community cohesion and empower women, strengthen local and regional market systems, support disaster risk management systems, diversify livelihood options and create employment opportunities. The PSNP, to which USAID is the largest bilateral donor, is one of the largest safety net programs in the world and has a current caseload of nearly eight million clients. The program aims to prevent the depletion of household assets and rehabilitate and enhance the natural environment through labor-based public works.
Pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s lowlands are particularly vulnerable to weather-related shocks and have a history of costly humanitarian assistance. Activities that have been particularly successful for building resilience in such areas work to:
- Improve market linkages to help promote commercial herd management.
- Increase access to key livestock inputs and better livestock health services.
- Support the construction of water harvesting and water management schemes.
- Support financial inclusion and livelihood diversification.
Opportunities for Strengthening Resilience
The recent drought demonstrated a number of factors that help boost households’ recovery from shocks in Ethiopia. These include increased pastoralist access to fodder, 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 opportunities for livelihood diversification, coupled with a lack of off-farm income sources and an increasing number of landless youth, pose significant challenges to the country. Systemic impediments to community resilience must be addressed through programming that complements household-level interventions.
Transforming Last-Mile Animal Health Services to Build Resilience in Ethiopia
03 Nov 2023 - Mercy Corps
The Resilience in Pastoral Areas-North program used a market systems development approach to successfully catalyze sustainable animal health services reaching last-mile lowland communities.
Sources of Ethiopian Agrodealer Enterprise Resilience
02 Nov 2023 - RTI International , Ashley Boddie , Tracy Slaybaugh-Mitchell , Joanna Springer , Alison Bean de Hernandez
Explore how resilience capacities at the enterprise level promote resilience for critical market system actors in response to a shock.
Resilience in Conflict
02 Nov 2023 - Feed the Future , Livelihoods for Resilience Activity , USAID , CARE
Explore how Livelihoods for Resilience households leveraged their knowledge, skills and assets to rebuild their livelihoods after conflict.
Resilience Evidence Gap Analysis (REGA)
13 Sep 2023 - USAID , LINC , Stacie Gobin , Karri Byrne , Matthew Klick , Tesfaye Berhanu , Solomon Bezabeh
Examine the most focused and relevant resilience findings, including information on the sequencing, layering and integration of interventions in Ethiopia.