Vulnerability information

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The vulnerability information provided here based on a basic traffic light-like ranking with three categories: 'high vulnerability' (+++), 'moderate vulnerability' (++) and 'low vulnerability' (+) is qualitative, not normalized and unweighted. For that reason no final assessment of vulnerability is done. Additionally, vulnerability characterizations colored in grey are not in the scope of this study but relevant for the specific problem. For details on the vulnerability assessment concept, methodology and classification systems please refer to the complete report attached at the bottom of the page, as well as to the deliverable D11.2 of EUPORIAS ("White paper on sector specific vulnerabilities"), which can be found at here.

Vulnerability characteristics

Referring to the analysis of the critical situation, decision-making processes and critical climate conditions, a primary vulnerability can be identified (see the attachment below).

Vulnerability to reduced crop production (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by the amount of people requiring food assistance exceeding the number of 8.3 million per year. Interlinked decision-making refers to the provision of food assistance which requires lead-times of at least one month but the earlier the better. Critical climate conditions are dry spells of around 10 days within the rainy season or a mean 400-500mm during the rainy season.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: around 10 days

  • Temporal scope for climate information: 4-5 months

Vulnerability assessment for S2D-vulnerability

Climate-impact type (++): the ‘climate impact type’ can be primarily classified as ‘statistical climate impact’: decisions based on seasonal forecast intend to assess the total number of people requiring food assistance. Thus, individual local impacts on the household level are uncritical but the situation becomes critical as soon as the total number of households exceeds 8.3 million and seriously critical exceeding the number of 10 million. Exceeding these thresholds implies the exhaustion of the help system (PSNP). Information on mean precipitation during the rainy season is helpful at which information on the temporal distribution of rainfall (i.e. dry spells) would be desired.

Role of climate (++): the role of climate is that of a production factor but with a hazardous character. Rainfall is only one factor for food production which is only one reason for food insecurity. At the best potential impacts can be completely prevented by compensation measures. However, the impact in the context of LEAP is rather destructive and the outcome generally negative which might be mitigated but not prevented.

Priority of scale (++): decision-making processes on a seasonal scale are of primary importance. Concrete decision-making occurs short-term but its success is very dependent on mid-term decision-making to avoid long-term consequences of hunger and decrease of livelihood capacities.

Success criteria (+++): the success criteria to preserve health and life and has an ethical character which is of interest for society.


LEAP is the Government of Ethiopia’s national food security early warning system. It provides estimates of the number of people who will be in need of food assistance due to drought, increasing the speed with which a humanitarian response can be triggered.