Eritrea Factsheet


125 700 km2



5.8 Million



Ambient average temperatures vary considerably, with the eastern lowland having an annual mean of 31 °C reaching as high as 48 °C; while in the highland areas the annual mean is 21 °C with a maximum of 25 °C. In the western lowland areas, the annual mean is 29 °C with a maximum of 36 °C. The country has 70% of its land area classified as hot and arid and receiving average annual rainfall of less than 350 mm. The main rainy season in most parts of the country is from June to September. There is also a short rainy season involving a small number of highland areas which occurs between March and May.

Natural Resources:

Agriculture, fisheries, industries, tourism and mining play an important role in the economic development of the country. Agriculture accounts for about 21 % of the GDP with over 80% of the population depend on traditional subsistence agriculture, including crop production and livestock husbandry. Industry accounts for about 22% of GDP and the balance of national income is accounted for by the service sector, at about 56% of GDP. Mining and Quarrying on the average accounts for about 1.5% of GDP.


The main economic activity of the people of Eritrea is agriculture in the form of crop production and livestock herding. Agriculture mainly comprises mixed farming and some commercial concessions. Most agriculture is rain-fed. The main rain-fed crops are sorghum, millet and sesame, and the main irrigated crops are all horticultural crops like bananas, onions and tomatoes and cotton. Annual crop production depends on rainfall that is variable and unevenly distributed from year to year. Major exports are livestock, sorghum, and food products exported to Sudan, Yemen, and the UAE.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

The main climatic hazards identified in the country include; Increased climatic variability, recurring drought, flash flooding and Sea level rise. In recent years, the main rainy season starts later and finishes earlier than the historical pattern resulting in some wheat and millet varieties, as well as some native cultivars, disappearing from production.



Cultivars: broader grouping is called the cultigen, which are defined as a plant whose origin (or selection) is primarily due to intentional human activity. Cultivar was coined by Liberty Hyde Bailey and it is generally regarded as a portmanteau of "cultivated" and "variety". Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, camellias, daffodils, rhododendrons, and azaleas are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for flower colour and form.

Climatic hazards: stems from hydro-meteorological nature and are process or phenomenon of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

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