Also, development and peace-building initiatives have to be coordinated and/or integrated to effectively build on the gains from humanitarian initiatives.

Resilience-building is key to increasing the population’s capacity to withstand shocks. Could you give a brief account of what effects the Rural Resilience Initiative has had so far?

The R4 Rural Resilience Resiliency is a very good initiative bringing an innovative approach
to managing risks. It goes beyond just being reactive to being predictive and pro-active.
It is a multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together multi-lateral organisations such as the
World Food Program, local NGOs like the Relief Society of Tigray, international NGOs such as Oxfam America, private sector organisations like Swiss Re, and public sector organisations
such as the Ethiopian Meteorological Agency and academia. The initiative’s main objective is to increase food security and climate resilience for vulnerable rural households by integrating disaster risk reduction, micro-insurance, livelihoods diversification, credit and savings into productive safety net programmes.

Where do you see the biggest challenges for the future?

As you know, Ethiopia is among the world’s least developed countries, which bear the brunt of the effects of climate change despite having contributed very little to global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Nevertheless, Ethiopia is committed to transition to a low carbon economy and in that regard has developed an ambitious Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, including Nationally Determined Contributions/NDCs and a National Adaptation Plan/NAP. However, their implementation is not going as planned owing to the setbacks mentioned above and overriding political priorities. Even in peacetime, these strategies and implementation guidelines would only become a reality with a healthy dose of financial and technical support from governments in industrialised countries like Germany.

At the same time, Ethiopia also aims at becoming a middle income country by 2025 through rapid industrialisation. It is registering the fastest growth on the continent with an 8.49 annual growth rate.