Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Executive Summary - Oxfam America Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) HARITA

Date Published: 
July 1, 2011

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. Over 1 billion people are already hungry, and conservative projections of the impact of climate change indicate that over the next ten years 100 million more people will become food insecure due to the adverse impacts of climate change unless there are significant efforts to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty, and build climate resilience.

In response to this challenge, Oxfam America has developed a holistic risk management framework that combines risk reduction with support to enable households to take ‘smart risks’ allowing them to build more sustainable livelihoods, which are protected through risk transfer mechanisms. The Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA) project implemented in Ethiopia is the first example of this pioneering approach. It is an initiative involving poor farmers, Oxfam America, Swiss Re, the Relief Society of Tigray, Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Nyala Insurance, Dedebit and Credit Savings Institution, various agencies of the Ethiopian government, and other partner organizations. Initiated in 2007, the project has broken new ground in the field of climate change resiliency and micro-insurance with its holistic approach in supporting cash-poor
farmers and landless rural households to pay for their insurance with their own labor.