This article discusses the impact of drought on poverty dynamics in the South Wollo area of northeastern Ethiopia. Using both survey and anthropological/qualitative data covering a six-year period, the paper assesses which households were able to hold on to assets and recover from the 1999-2000 drought and which were not. It suggests that while the incidence of poverty changed very little during 1997 to 2003 despite the occurrence of a major drought, the fortunes of the poorest improved, but not enough to keep them from poverty. The study concludes by asking how current policies affect patterns of poverty and inequality and what might be done to improve welfare in South Wollo.
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