Key facts:

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Drought | Riverine floods

People reached by anticipation

START Network: 2015 - 104,732

Anticipation partners in country    

FAO | WFP | START Network: GOAL, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision | Ethiopia Red Cross Society (ERCS) | Netherlands Red Cross | National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) | National Meteorological Authority (NMA) | Basin Development Authority (BDA) | Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) | Ministry of Health (MoH) | Ethiopian Space science Authority (ESSA) | Central Statistical Authority (CSA) | FEWSNET

Inform Risk Index    

Hazard and Exposure: 5.7

Vulnerability: 6.5

Lack of Coping Capacity: 6.8

Total: 6.3 (high risk)

Rank: 18


Photo by Caroline Hurford / IFRC

Country Profile

Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the world according to the Human Development Index. The country’s economy and people’s livelihoods are closely linked to the agricultural sector, which accounts for 85% of total employment and 41% of the country’s GDP. Ethiopia is confronted with a wide range of hazards associated with the country’s diverse geo-climatic conditions, including floods, drought, heatwaves, frost and hail, crop pests, diseases, landslides, earthquakes and wildfires as well as conflict and other manmade hazards. Of these, drought and floods are the most common and cause the highest impacts. Combined they are estimated to put seven million people at risk of food insecurity. Climate change is expected to further increase exposure to climate-related and hydrological hazards, and, thus, adds to the pressure on livelihoods and the country’s agricultural dependent economy.

Drought and the lack or erratic nature of rainfall impact the majority of central and eastern Ethiopia. Lowland regions are particularly affected. On average, around 1.5 million people are affected by drought and water scarcity each year. Because most cereal crops are rain-fed in Ethiopia, the agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to rainfall variability. Therefore, droughts often result in loss of livestock and agricultural income, which in turn lead to food insecurity and severe food crises.

Large-scale riverine flooding occurs in lowland areas. In combination with highland flash floods, flood events cause the highest economic damage in Ethiopia. Impacts are mostly associated with damage to housing and infrastructure, displacement of people as well as loss of crops and livestock. Both types of floods are becoming increasingly common in Ethiopia, and are exacerbated by deforestation, land degradation, increasing climate variability, and settlement patterns.


In 2015 START network allocated £500,000 to GOAL, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision to help farmers secure seeds in anticipation of the rainy season after a series of failed rains (Alert 65).


Building National Capacities for Climate Forecast-based Financing (FbF)

Since 2019 WFP has been working with government agencies and other partners to strengthen national capacities and systems for climate risk management, through the use and development of tailored climate forecasts and triggers for early action against agricultural drought.

FAO is working to support early action for drought in Ethiopia.

As of 2020, the Ethiopia Red Cross is working closely with the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), the National Meteorological Agency, the Basin Development Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture, ESSI, WFP and FAO in Ethiopia to develop FbF for riverine floods. ERCS will submit their protocol to the FbA by the DREF.

Latest news

June 08, 2021

Practice makes perfect: planning for floods in Ethiopia

To test the Early Action Protocol, the Ethiopian Red Cross and its partners carried out a flood simulation in March 2021. Simulations are crucial to make sure communication between all the different …

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This image shows the distribution of provided shelter materials
April 28, 2021

Ethiopian Flood Trigger Simulation: Optimizing Early Action Protocols

This blog shares insights from the simulation of the flood Early Action Protocol in Ethiopia that took place from March 8th until March 12th 2021.

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