UN Resilience Framework

Ethiopia is highly exposed to a wide range of hazards, shocks and stressors - in particular recurrent droughts and floods.

Remarks by Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, on UN Resilience Framework – Country Consultations

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dear Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure to be here today and welcome you to this important workshop to consult with us on the drafting of a comprehensive UN Resilience Framework.

As you all know, Ethiopia is highly exposed to a wide range of hazards, shocks and stressors - in particular recurrent droughts and floods, as well as ethnic violence and conflict - which are affecting millions of people. The population of Ethiopia has historically demonstrated its ability to cope with and mitigate the negative impacts of such catastrophic events. However, the increasing magnitude and frequency of climate extremes over the past 25 years, has significantly eroded people’s capacity to cope, manage and adapt to the changes in their environments and livelihoods.

Vulnerability in Ethiopia is further exacerbated by pervasive natural resource depletion, limited livelihood opportunities, poor access to basic services, population pressure, and the weakening of traditional institutions, to name just a few of the predominant risk drivers. For many families there is simply not enough time to rebuild their assets before the next disaster strikes. Pastoral women and households already living in poverty are in a particularly precarious situation which has led to migration and a growing number of internally displaced populations. Ethiopia is also hosting the second largest refugee population in Africa, providing a range of services also to host communities.

Understanding the complexity of the situation and the multi-dimensional factors that contribute to the growing vulnerability, the Government of Ethiopia together with partners, have made significant progress in various aspects of drought resilience – including in early warning and early action; in disaster preparedness and mitigation; in social protection; in livelihood diversification; in hosting refugees; and other areas.

Whilst we may all agree that Ethiopia still has a long way ahead to transition to a green and climate resilient economy and society; and in helping the most vulnerable make the transformational changes that allow them to strive and lead self-determined lives; I am pleased today, to see that the work accomplished here has raised interest at the Global level.

We all know that collective action on resilience building at country level requires much coordinated efforts and at scale. And in that regard, we welcome the initiative of the UN Secretary General to develop practical guidance for the UN System at country level on how to (1) establish a common understanding of the risk and resilience context; (2) act together for resilience building in a joined up effort with government and partners; and (3) strengthen the alignment of resilience building efforts with development, humanitarian, and peace-building efforts for delivering on the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

I believe that by coming to Ethiopia and by capturing our experience in resilience building, the drafting team made indeed a good choice, as we have learned a lot from our past successes and failures. In that sense, I strongly encourage you to be as candid and as constructive as possible in your feed-back and discussions, so that the drafting team is provided with rich information to incorporate into the drafting process.

Moreover, and without pre-empting on the upcoming discussions, you will see that working collectively and building on our complementarities and our comparative advantages is the core of building resilience.

Once again, a warm welcome to the representatives of the drafting team and I wish you all a productive meeting.

Speech by
Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Development Programme