Located on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is home to extraordinary geographical and ecological diversity; including high plateaus, mountains and dry lowland plains which provide a wide variation of climates, soils, and vegetation. The population of 102.4 million is highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which represents approximately 85% of the labour force.

The country is profoundly impacted by changes in climate. Increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall have resulted in deepening drought conditions including devastating scarcities in the 1980’s, 2011, and 2015-2017. Changes in precipitation have also contributed to increased incidence of flash flooding.

Water scarcity decreases access to drinking water, reduces hand-washing and bathing, and limits the use of water flushed toilets, increasing the incidence of “water-washed diseases” such as the 2016 drought in Ethiopia which led to a scabies outbreak in the Amhara state, affecting more than 370,000 people.

In 2006 flooding led to several acute water diarrhoea outbreaks across Ethiopia. Further, climate change contributes to the increased breeding conditions for mosquito, intensifying the occurrence of vector-borne diseases. From 2013-2014 Ethiopia saw its first-ever dengue fever outbreak and the first occurrence of yellow fever in 65 years.

For more information on climate and health in Ethiopia, read the WHO UNFCCC Ethiopia Country Profile here.



El Niño and Health Global Overview

Organizations involved: WHO

Description: The overview provides an analysis of the current and expected evolution of El Niño conditions, their impacts on health, and country response actions.

Website: http://www.who.int/hac/crises/el-nino/en/


ENACTS – Enhancing National Climate Services Initiative

Organizations involved: IRI, DFID, GFCS

Description: The Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative transforms local, national and regional climate-sensitive development decisions through the widespread uptake of timely, relevant, locally-enhanced and quality-assured climate information at relevant spatial and temporal scales.

Website: https://iri.columbia.edu/resources/enacts/



Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments

Organizations involved: WHO, GIZ

Description: V&A Assessments build capacity, establish partnerships, and provide actionable information for decision-makers on health risks associated with climate, and identify priority policies and programmes to prevent or reduce the severity of future impacts.

Website: https://www.climhealthafrica.org/projects-vulnerability-and-adaptation-assessments



ATLAS – Climate Adaptation, Thought Leadership and Assessments

Organisations involved: INS (implementer), USAID (donor)

Description: ATLAS aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of climate risk reduction in development programmes through tested, harmonised approaches to adaptation assessments; thought leadership; and by building the capacity of USAID and its partners.

Website: https://www.climatelinks.org/projects/atlas

Photo credit: Henriques Balidy, 2015, Centre for the Sustainable Development of Coastal Zones.


June 1992
April 1994
April 2005
June 2007
November 2011
June 2015
March 2017

June 1992

On June 10th, 1992 Ethiopia signs the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) which defines the adverse effects of climate change as inclusive of human health and welfare. The framework also includes the notion of equity of production, including for future generations.

April 1994

On April 5th, 1994 Ethiopia ratifies the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) showing the country’s commitment to addressing climate change issues nationally and globally through cooperation.


The Environmental Protection Authority formulates the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia as part of a wider Conservation Strategy, defining and outlining the country’s strategy towards the environment and natural resource management.

April 2005

On the 14th of April, 2005 Ethiopia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol which commits 128 participating countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by over 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

June 2007

Ethiopia finalizes its first Climate Change National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).


Ethiopian Programme of Adaptation to Climate Change (EPACC)
replaces NAPA for programmatic climate resilient economy. The programme aims to mainstream climate change into national level decision making and identifies 20 climate change risks, specific adaptation objectives and institutions responsible for risk mitigation.

November 2011

Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy is launched, the first of its kind in Africa. This bold policy aims to accelerate development while simultaneously reducing vulnerability to climate change. The initiative aspires to support economic growth, net-zero emissions and build resilience to ensure sustainable and environmentally friendly economic growth– including going carbon neutral by 2025.

June 2015

On the 26th of June, 2015 Ethiopia submits acceptance of Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, extending the Kyoto Protocol to the second commitment period.

March 2017

Ethiopia ratifies the Paris Agreement on the 9th of March, 2017. This agreement sets an ambitious aim to curb greenhouse gas emissions and encourages countries to develop adaptation plans that will protect human health from the worst impacts of climate change such as droughts, heat waves and floods.


The WHO and UNFCCC Climate and Health Country Profiles (2015) provide a standard framework for gauging national policy responses to climate and health issues. The table below shows the latest information for Ethiopia, updated in 2016.


Country has identifed a national focal point for climate change in the Ministry of Health
Country has a national health adaptation strategy approved by relevant government body
The National Communication submitted to UNFCCC includes health implications of climate change mitigation policies


Country is currently implementing projects or programs on health adaptation to climate change
Country has implemented actions to build institutional and technical capacities to work on climate change and health
Country has conducted a national assessment of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation for health
Country has climate information included in Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system, including development of early warning and response systems for climate-sensitive health risks
Country has implemented activities to increase climate resilience of health infrastructure


Estimated costs to implement health resilience to climate change included in planned allocations from domestic funds in the last financial biennium
Estimated costs to implement health resilience to climate change included in planned allocations from international funds in the last fnancial biennium


The national strategy for climate change mitigation includes consideration of the health implications (health risks or co-benefts) of climate change mitigation actions
Country has conducted valuation of co-benefts of health implications of climate mitigation policies