Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA) quarterly report: July 2011–September 2011

Rural resilience series

For the 1.3 billion people living on less than a dollar a day who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, vulnerability to weather-related shocks is a constant threat to security and well-being. As climate change drives an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural hazards, the challenges faced by food-insecure communities struggling to improve their lives and livelihoods will also increase. The question of how to build rural resilience against weather-related risk is critical for addressing global poverty.

In response to this challenge, in 2007, Oxfam America, together with local and international partners,1 launched a pilot program called HARITA, or Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation, to work with farmers on building their resilience to climate change. Today, the program has grown to become Oxfam’s Rural Resilience Initiative, or R4 (http://www.oxfamamerica.org/issues/insurance/). Initiated as a result of the partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme announced at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference, R4 builds upon the highly successful growth of the multiyear HARITA pilot in Ethiopia.

HARITA, in its three years of delivery in Ethiopia’s northernmost state of Tigray, has shown promising results for replication. More than 1,300 households participated in HARITA in 2010, up from 200 in its first year. In the 2011 agricultural season, HARITA expanded its outreach by 10 times with more than 13,000 farmers in 43 villages signing up for insurance.

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