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The Rain Doesn't Come on Time Anymore

Poverty, vulnerability, and climate variability in Ethiopia

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 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.

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