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Market Approaches to Resilience (MAR)

Ethiopia’s lowlands are projected to become more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate shocks. Ethiopia’s lowlands are projected to become more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate shocks.

The Problem

Increasing climate variability has brought many pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s lowlands, who are heavily dependent on natural resources, to the edge of survival. As temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, these problems could potentially worsen. 

Since the 1960s, average annual temperatures in Ethiopia have increased by 1.3°C. This could have an impact on weather patterns that are already very hard to predict, shorten growing seasons, cause dramatic shifts between wet and dry conditions and trigger more frequent storms, floods and droughts. Responding to humanitarian disasters cost the Ethiopian government $272 million in 2015 alone.

What are we doing?

Part of the UK Government funded BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters) programme, Market Approaches to Resilience (MAR) is an innovative three year programme that will test market-based approaches to improving the resilience of vulnerable pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households to climate change in the Afar, SNNP and Somali regions.

The MAR programme will support households, businesses and communities in better managing their resources and everyday risks. It will work with private investors to address climate risks by promoting appropriate economic opportunities, and designing financial models that help smooth risk. It will also stimulate the appropriate diversification of economic activity among the most vulnerable, through public and private sector partnerships.

These include:

    • Promoting insurance by providing support to the innovative design,
      pricing, marketing and outreach of services to communities.
    • Building local government capacity for green towns.
    • Helping establish village savings and loans associations.
    • Supporting microfinance institutions to incorporate climate risk into their risk management portfolios and help them develop innovative credit products.
    • Strengthening rapid-onset emergency response by working with the private sector to manage contingency funding.
    • Supporting financial institutions to expand mobile banking to remote areas, and explore the potential for other mobile applications to improve information flow.
    • Strengthening climate information by funding weather station infrastructure.
    • Supporting participatory rangeland and natural resource management.

Who are we working for?

The MAR project will directly benefit an estimated 178,620 people in Ethiopia.

A particular focus of the project is to improve the economic participation and independence of women, who are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate shocks and trends.

Who are we working with?

Part of the UK Government funded BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters) programme, MAR is being implemented by a consortium led by Farm Africa. The other partners are Mercy Corps, Lion’s Head Global Partners and LTS International Limited. You can read the latest BRACED paper on the framework for measuring resilience here. 


Building and unleashing community power Building and unleashing community power

The booklet shares the stories of ten people involved in the MAR project, showing how access to finance, natural resource management, green urban planning and weather information have improved lives and protected the ecosystem.


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