Canadian international assistance in Ethiopia

Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa with a population of 100 million, is one of the world’s poorest countries. Ethiopia ranks 174 out of 188 countries in the 2015 Human Development Index, and about 33.5 percent of Ethiopians live on less than US$1.90/day. As relatively the most stable country in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia still faces several long-standing internal and external security challenges including hosting one of the largest refugee populations in Africa.

Ethiopia was hit by a wave of popular protests in late 2015 and 2016 around restrictions on civil, political and land rights. As a means of responding to popular dissatisfaction, especially from its unemployed youth,  the Ethiopian government has committed to reforms intended to create greater accountability; fight corruption,; create jobs; and foster political engagement with the opposition. Canada follows the situation closely, regularly encouraging the Ethiopian Government to create space for civic engagement, and offering assistance with democratic reforms. Canada is following these engagements closely.

In spite of these enormous challenges, Ethiopia has made major development strides: poverty rates have dropped by one third since 2000 and Ethiopia has met seven of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Government programs such as the Productive Safety Net Program are addressing food insecurity and other Ethiopian priority development challenges. In addition, the country has experienced unprecedented economic growth for more than a decade.

This progress has been the result of a series of country-led investments to:

These gains remain fragile, though, as the country continues to be highly vulnerable to shocks, especially climate-related events such as drought.

Ethiopia's continued investment in national programs that aim to meet household food needs and build resilience and productive capacity is necessary in order to protect the fragile gains of the past decade and increase food security for Ethiopia’s people.

Increased focus on measures that will support diversified economic growth and employment, especially for Ethiopia’s young and growing population, will also be key to Ethiopia’s ability to sustain current rates of progress, both in terms of human development and economic growth.

To ensure that growth is inclusive, Ethiopia also needs to ensure all of its citizens benefit from development and democratic engagement. Women and girls in particular need to be empowered to claim their rights. Ethiopia needs to keep making progress in terms of early marriage, abduction, economic and political empowerment, violence against girls and women, and educational disparities.

Our international development assistance

Search the Project Browser to see what Canada is doing to support development in Ethiopia.

Canada is one of the largest bilateral country donors in Ethiopia. Objectives for programming   focus on human development and economic growth including:

These objectives have been identified by Ethiopia and Canada as central to poverty reduction and will help achieve Ethiopia’s development goals as set out in its second Growth and Transformation Plan, which aims to make Ethiopia a middle income country by 2025. Canada, in partnership with Ethiopia, is supporting the achievement of systematic improvements to numerous human development indicators, and as a result, real changes in the lives and well-being of some of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable people.

Canada will continue to address the root causes of chronic food insecurity in Ethiopia, to improve the nutritional status of food insecure people and to increase agricultural productivity and farmers' incomes via improved production techniques and market-oriented approaches.

Key anticipated results:

Canada supports programs that help diversify the economy and create employment opportunities outside of agriculture for Ethiopia’s young and growing labour force.

Canada will also support Ethiopia in developing its natural resources in a way that delivers sustainable economic benefits, particularly at the community level.

Key anticipated results:

Canada is supporting Ethiopia to make reforms that promote accountable governance, inclusion and pluralism, in particular by strengthening Ethiopia’s federal system.

Key anticipated results:

Canada will also promote the empowerment of women and girls by improving sexual and reproductive health, combatting gender-based violence and harmful practices, and ending child, early and forced marriage.

Key anticipated results:

Progress on aid effectiveness

Ethiopia's strong ownership of development priorities and planning, combined with its impressive commitment of national resources to antipoverty programs, make it a country where official development assistance produces results. Donors have responded with growing and increasingly harmonized aid commitments, resulting in lower transaction costs and greater impact.

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