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Tropentag, September 19 - 21, 2016 in Vienna, Austria

"Solidarity in a competing world - fair use of resources"

Policy Options for Improving Drought Resilience and Implications for Food Security: The Case of Ethiopia and Kenya

Daniel Tsegai1, Michael Bruentrup2, Mesay Kebede Duguma1

1United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), External Relations, Policy and Advocacy (ERPA) Unit, Germany
2DIE-German Development Institute, Competitiveness and Social Development, Germany


Drought in the arid and semi-arid land of the Horn of Africa (HoA) is one of the most serious and permanent threats to food security. Despite the efforts by the governments and the international community, serious famines have been registered in the past decades. Assessing the impacts of droughts, and investigating the risk profile of vulnerable communities as well as identifying the challenges at all levels is a fundamental task before remedial measures are proposed for enhanced drought resilience. This will require the involvement of various actors from different strands of governments, civil society, international organisations and - more importantly- the affected people themselves.

This joint study conducted by the UNCCD Secretariat and the German Development Institute aims to synthesize lessons learnt from past drought events, policy adjustments and presents proposals for improved policy options for drought resilience and food security in the dry lands. Research questions include:
1. What are the remedial measures/policy options to enhance drought resilience and thus food security at sub-national and national levels Ethiopia and Kenya? What are the challenges and opportunities?

2. What were the impacts of the 2011 drought in Ethiopia and Kenya? What are the reasons behind the scale of drought impact observed? How did the National Systems at various levels perform? What has changed since then?

3. What are the roles of other factors including ‘state fragility', ‘land degradation' and ‘political setup' in mitigating or exacerbating drought impacts?

We are conducting interviews with policy makers, NGOs, donors and intergovernmental organisations both in Ethiopia and Kenya. The study is expected to be finalized in June 2016.

Keywords: Drought, Ethiopia, food security, Kenya, policy

Contact Address: Daniel Tsegai, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), External Relations, Policy and Advocacy (ERPA) Unit, Bonn, Germany, e-mail: dtsegai@unccd.int

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