Active Grants: 0

GDP (current US$): 80.56 billion (2017)

Population: 104.96 million (2017)

Major Partners

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), European Union (EU), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), FAFO (Institute for Applied International Science), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), World Bank, World Food Programme (WFP)

INFORM Risk Rating: 6.3

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.


Hazard Risk

Ethiopia is exposed to numerous hazards including droughts, floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Multiple factors influence the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards, including dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low economic development, deforestation, land degradation, and larger and denser human settlements. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Such a rapid increase is placing a great strain on the country’s natural resources.  

Recurring droughts and floods have the most severe impact on Ethiopia’s population. The country has a long history of recurring droughts, which have increased in magnitude, frequency, and impact since the 1970s. The 2011 Horn of Africa drought left more than 4.5 million people in need of food assistance. These food shortages were caused in part by the widespread death of livestock in the south and southeastern parts of the country following pasture and water shortages.  

A number of studies show that due to climate change and additional human-induced factors the areas affected by drought and desertification are expanding in the country. Flash floods and seasonal river floods are becoming more frequent and widespread. Climate models indicate that in the next century there will be a 20 percent increase in extreme high rainfall events.  

National Priorities 

The Government of Ethiopia has a long institutional history of addressing disaster risk management (DRM) and food security, starting with the establishment of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission following the 1974 famines. Since then, the country has taken a number of steps to shift to a more proactive approach to DRM, including: 

  • Establishing the Disaster Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) in 2008 under the Ministry of Agriculture, which is responsible for the country’s DRM activities;
  • Updating the National Policy and Strategy on Disaster Management (2013), which provides a comprehensive DRM framework; and 
  • Developing a DRM Strategic Program and Investment Framework for government and donor interventions (2014).  

To further advance the DRM agenda, priorities include:

  • Enhancing understanding of risks through the development of risk profiles for all woredas (districts); 
  • Developing and strengthening building codes, land-use, and urban planning; and,  
  • Reducing risks by strengthening the Productive Safety Net Program; and  Establishing risk-financing mechanisms. 


GFDRR progress to date

GFDRR has helped enable DRM efforts in Ethiopia since 2007 through country-specific and regional grants to Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of support from GFDRR has focused on drought preparedness and response while ensuring food security.   

In 2007, GFDRR and partners began supporting a DRMFSS initiative to develop district-level multi-hazard risk profiles across the country, which feed into an interactive database. These activities have increased understanding of, and access to, disaster risk information while improving connectivity between agencies involved in DRM.  GFDRR is providing continued support to scale up this initiative and is supporting the development of associated DRM, adaptation and contingency plans, and pilot resilience projects. To date, these pilots have included projects to reduce industrial water and air pollution and improve solid waste management. The government’s disaster preparedness has also been reinforced through GFDRR-supported capacity building, including training on recovery and post-disaster needs assessments.  

In addition, GFDRR has supported programs providing support to food-insecure households.  In 2008, GFDRR contributed to a World Bank project that is part of the Government of Ethiopia’s National Nutritional Program, enabling the roll out of community-based nutrition programs to 50 districts. This initiative has been scaled to 238 districts, significantly improving overall nutritional status while benefitting children and mothers.  

GFDRR has also helped the government establish an effective risk financing tool called the Livelihoods, Early Assessment, and Protection index, or LEAP. LEAP is an innovative early warning-early action tool which prompts the timely scale-up of contingency financing for farmers. Approximately 14 million people are benefitting from livelihood protection as a direct result of LEAP. 

Looking ahead, GFDRR anticipates new and continued demand for:  

  • Further establishing DRM policies, strategies, and institutions; 
  • Developing risk and vulnerability assessments at national and district levels;  
  • Strengthening early warning systems, contingency planning, and financing in both rural and urban areas;  
  • Integrating DRM into sector development planning; and,  
  • Developing disaster risk financing strategies.  

Grants Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Disaster risk management in Africa: operational support, capacity develipment
$800,000 02/2018 - 02/2020
Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Ethiopia
$125,000 01/2018 - 04/2019
Open Data for Resilience Initiative: Tools and Capacity Building
$250,000 06/2017 - 12/2018
World Reconstruction Conference 3 - Knowledge and Lessons Learned from ACP Countries
$344,465 03/2017 - 04/2018
Africa Hydromet Technical Assistance: Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange Program
$3,000,000 01/2017 - 12/2019
Disaster Risk and Poverty in Ghana and Ethiopia
$191,029 12/2016 - 07/2017
Poverty and Disaster Risk Pilot Assessment in Key Regional Capitals, Ethiopia
$194,933 10/2016 - 09/2017
Enhancing financial protection resilience in V20 member countries
$400,000 10/2016 - 03/2019
City Strength Diagnostic: Enhancing Urban Resilience
$306,437 04/2016 - 09/2017
Building Regulation for Resilience (BRR) Program
$645,000 03/2016 - 08/2017
Strengthening DRR Coordination, Planning and Policy Advisory Capacity of IGAD (R2-RE, phase 1)
$2,486,250 12/2015 - 12/2019
Strengthening Global Hydromet System - Investment Support
$1,400,000 08/2015 - 07/2019
Strengthening DRR Coordination, Planning and Policy Advisory Capacity of IGAD (Implementation Support)
$555,055 07/2015 - 02/2020
Building Capacity for Woreda Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
$744,052 07/2015 - 09/2017
Ethiopian Diaster Risk Management Analysis
$738,775 05/2015 - 09/2017
Ethiopia Disaster Risk Management Analytics
$747,000 05/2015 - 09/2017
Creating the enabling data environment for risk financing – Labs team
$4,267,206 04/2015 - 10/2019
Modernizing Hydrometeorological Services to Strengthen Climate Resilience in Africa
$2,074,578 01/2015 - 11/2017
Ethiopia Disaster Risk Management Investment Framework
$198,362 08/2013 - 12/2015

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Ethiopia Disaster Risk Management Country Plan Project, Phase I
$1.28 million | Start date: 04/2012 (Closed)

The project development objective of Phase 1 of the programmatic support to the Ethiopian DRM Country Plan is to improve the capacity of the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector in early warning, disaster risk assessment, and disaster preparedness.

Productive Safety Nets Program (APL III) Additional Financing
$370 million | Start date: 04/2012 (Closed)

The project development objective is to reduce household vulnerability, improve resilience to shocks and promote sustainable community development in food insecure areas of rural Ethiopia.

Agricultural Growth Project - Additional Financing
$50 million | Start date: 04/2012 (Closed)

The project development objective is to increase agricultural productivity and market access for key crop and livestock products in targeted districts with increased participation of women and youth.

Road Sector Support Project
$320 million | Start date: 04/2014 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to reduce travel time and cost along selected inter-regional corridors and support the sustainability of the federal road network.

Ethiopia Geothermal Sector Development Project
$178.5 million | Start date: 04/2014 (Ongoing )

The project development objective is to develop geothermal resources in Ethiopia.

Pastoral Community Development Project III
$110 million | Start date: 04/2014 (Ongoing )

The project development objective is to improve access to community demand-driven social and economic services for pastoralists and agro-pastoralists of Ethiopia.

Sustainable Land Management Project
$50 million | Start date: 04/2014 (Ongoing)

The development objective of this project is to reduce land degradation and improve land productivity in selected watersheds in targeted regions in Ethiopia.

Sustainable Land Management Project
- | Start date: 04/2014 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Second Phase of the Sustainable Land Management Project is to reduce land degradation and improve land productivity in selected watersheds in targeted regions in Ethiopia.

Productive Safety Nets Project 4
$600 million | Start date: 04/2015 (Ongoing )

The project has an objective to increase access to safety net and disaster risk management systems, complementary livelihoods services and nutrition support for food insecure households in rural Ethiopia.

Ethiopia: Transport Systems Improvement Project
$300 million | Start date: 04/2016 (Ongoing)

The development objective of tis to improve mobility along selected corridors in Addis Ababa and the effectiveness of road safety compliance systems throughout Ethiopia.

Tana & Beles Integrated Water Resources Development Additional Finance
$5.1 million | Start date: 04/2016 (Closed)

The objective of the Additional Financing of the Tana and Beles Integrated Water Resources Development Project for Ethiopia is to develop enabling institutions and investments for integrated planning, management and development in the Tana and Beles Sub-basins to accelerate sustainable growth.

Urban Productive Safety Net Project
$300 million | Start date: 04/2016 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Urban Productive Safety Net Project is to support the Government of Ethiopia to improve income of targeted poor households and establish urban safety net mechanisms.

Multi-sector Investment Planning for Climate Resilience
$1.5 million | Start date: 10/2016 (Closed)

The Project Development Objective is to support Ethiopia's effort to develop a programmatic multi-sector investment plan for climate resilience in key sectors, including agriculture and forestry.

Ethiopia Rural Productive Safety Net Project
$600 million | Start date: 09/2017 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective is to support the Government of Ethiopia in improving the effectiveness and scalability of its rural safety net system.