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  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Ethiopia's resource scarcity context presents a daunting challenge, but also a significant opportunity. The country's current scarcity context includes: Low agricultural yields and farm sizes: Even if farm productivity were to increase by a factor of three, the average farm would still not produce enough food for a family of five. With 83% of Ethiopia's people directly dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, the country has a major food security challenge; 7.5 million people depend on food safety nets. Major exposure to drought: Ethiopia has erratic rainfall, and acutely limited water storage capacity: the country has only 43m3 of reservoir storage per person, compared to 750m3 in South Africa and 6,150m3 in North America. Levels of irrigation are also low: the World Bank estimates that only 5% of irrigable land in Ethiopia is actually irrigated. Limited access to energy: Ethiopia's total primary energy supply is less than 60% of the African average, and only just over a fifth of the global average. The country depends on waste and biomass for 90 of its energy needs – leading to consequences including deforestation, and soil degradation as a result of biomass not being returned to the soil. High dependence on imported oil and food: Ethiopia currently imports all of its liquid fuels and a significant proportion of its food. This creates major exposure to global commodity price volatility, with the attendant risk of balance of payments problems, inflation and outright supply interruptions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Poverty, Natural Resources, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, North America, Ethiopia
  • Author: Genia Kostka, Jenny Scharrer
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The key findings of this report are that sesame is a suitable crop for poverty alleviation for smallholders in Benishangul Gumuz and that the smallholder model is competitive versus the large-scale investor model in terms of productivity. Farmers can achieve high profits without significant up-front investments. With minimal expenditure for sesame seeds and some simple equipment for ploughing, weeding and harvesting, farmers can cultivate sesame on a family labor basis. Potential income is higher in the smallholder model than from either communal land management, or from the salaries from large-scale investors (see Figure 1) However, this potential is mirrored by the highest risk for farmers to receive the lowest income. Smallholders can mitigate this risk as well as increase their income further through membership of primary production co-operatives that offer higher sales prices and paid-out dividends.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia
  • Author: Benjamin Lee, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In September, world leaders will assemble in New York to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ahead of the ensuing discussions, we examine how individual countries are faring towards achieving the highly ambitious MDG targets. We outline a new MDG Progress Index, which compares country performance against the core MDG targets on poverty, hunger, gender equality, education, child mortality, health, and water. Overall, we find evidence of dramatic achievements by many poor countries such as Honduras, Laos, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Nepal, Cambodia, and Ghana. In fact, these countries' performance suggests that they may achieve most of the highly ambitious MDGs. Moreover, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for many of the star MDG performers. Interestingly, poor countries perform nearly on par with middle-income countries. Not surprisingly, the list of laggards largely consists of countries devastated by conflict over the last few decades, such as Afghanistan, Burundi, the DRC, and Guinea-Bissau. Most countries fall somewhere in between, demonstrating solid progress on some indicators and little on others.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Poverty, Third World, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, New York, Cambodia, Nepal, United Nations, Ethiopia
  • Author: Senait Regassa, Christina Givey, Gina E. Castillo
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate variability in Ethiopia is not new—its diverse agro-ecological zones have brought a dazzling variety of micro-climates, and corresponding weather patterns, and people have developed ways to respond successfully to these challenges. But now, in addition to the usual struggles, Ethiopians living in poverty are additionally suffering the effects of climate change—both more variable climate and more extreme weather events. Women, men, families, and whole communities are struggling with how to understand this new variability, identify new patterns, and establish what resources they need to be able to move beyond reacting and coping to adapting to the new realities and being resilient. Policy makers, likewise, face the daunting challenge of how to refine policies, especially investments in and related to agriculture, to focus on poverty and vulnerability reduction in context of the new realities of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Gilbert M. Khadiagala
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: “Eastern Africa” denotes the geographical area comprising the seven member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD): Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Tanzania is also included because it has had long historical and political interactions with Kenya and Uganda within the rubric of the East African Cooperation (EAC). The main challenges to human security in this region have originated from political and state fragility, resource scarcities, and environmental degradation. All these factors have contributed to a regional context that is characterized by intrastate conflicts, interstate wars, and political extremism. Raging civil wars and interstate conflicts have, in turn, produced forms of statelessness and marginality that have deepened societal insecurities and strained human livelihoods. Consequently, in addition to profound political instability and economic destitution, human security is arrayed against escalating communal violence, small arms proliferation, and massive movements of people within and beyond the region.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, East Africa
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Daniel Zerfu, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper, using the rich household panel data of urban and rural Ethiopia that covers the period from 1994 to 2000, we attempted to establish the link between finance and poverty in Ethiopia. Our results show that access to finance is an important factor in consumption smoothing and hence poverty reduction. We also found evidence for a poverty trap due to liquidity constraints that limits the ability of the rural households from consumption smoothing. The empirical findings from this study could inform finance policies aimed at addressing issues of poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines trends in income distribution and its linkages to economic growth and poverty reduction in order to understand the prospects for achieving poverty reduction in Africa. We examine the levels and trends in income distribution in some African countries and calculate pro-poor growth indices. Different growth patterns are simulated for Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, and South Africa. We conclude that the balance between policies aimed at growth and measures aimed at redistribution should depend on the elasticity of the growth-equity tradeoff. We also discuss what the appropriate ingredients of a pro-poor strategy would be in the African setting.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia
  • Author: Abebe Shimeles, Arne Bigsten
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper addresses issues related to the dynamics of income poverty using unique household panel data for urban and rural areas of Ethiopia covering the period 1994-97. The percentage of households that remained in poverty was twice as large in urban areas as in rural areas. This suggests that income variability is a serious problem in rural areas, while the persistence is a key feature of urban poverty. The paper also discusses household characteristics that are correlated with the incidence of chronic poverty as well as vulnerability to poverty. A strategy that promotes consumption smoothing through say access to credit can work well in rural areas, while income or employment generation are required for poverty alleviation in urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Stefan Dercon, Pramila Krishnan
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Households in developing countries use a variety of informal mechanisms to cope with risk, including mutual support and risk-sharing. These mechanisms cannot avoid that they remain vulnerable to shocks. Public programs in the form of food aid distribution and food-for-work programs are meant to protect vulnerable households from consumption and nutrition downturns by providing a safety net. In this paper we look into the extent to which food aid helps to smooth consumption by reducing the impact of negative shocks, taking into account informal risk-sharing arrangements. Using panel data from Ethiopia, we find that despite relatively poor targeting of the food aid, the programs contribute to better consumption outcomes, largely via intra-village risk sharing.
  • Topic: Development, Non-Governmental Organization, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Stefan Dercon, John Hoddinott
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we review the evidence on the impact of large shocks, such as drought, on child and adult health, with particular emphasis on Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Our focus is on the impact of shocks on long-term outcomes, and we ask whether there are intrahousehold differences in these effects. The evidence suggests substantial fluctuations in body weight and growth retardation in response to shocks. While there appears to be no differential impact between boys and girls, adult women are often worse affected by these shocks. For children, there is no full recovery from these losses, affecting adult health and education outcomes, as well as lifetime earnings. For adults, there is no evidence of persistent effects from transitory shocks in our data.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia