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Canada-Ethiopia relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1965. In Ethiopia, Canada maintains an embassy in Addis Ababa, which is also accredited to Djibouti. The embassy is also responsible for Canada’s relations with the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, which are both headquartered in Addis Ababa, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which is headquartered in Djibouti. In Canada, Ethiopia is represented by an embassy in Ottawa.

Canada maintains a relationship with Ethiopia based on an open political dialogue focused on:

Canada is concerned with the impacts of the conflict in northern Ethiopia which started in November 2020, which has had devastating human rights and humanitarian impact across the country. Canada calls for a durable political resolution to the conflict; increased and sustained humanitarian access; the protection of civilians in all conflict-affected areas; and accountability for human rights violations and abuses. 

The Ethiopian diaspora in Canada numbers some 44,000 people.

Trade relations

Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Ethiopia totaled over $163 million in 2021. This consisted of $111.8 million in exports and $51.6 million in imports from Ethiopia.

Canadian companies' presence is mainly linked to aerospace, energy infrastructure, information and communication technology (ICT), agriculture and education.

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Development and humanitarian assistance

In 2022, more than 30 million Ethiopians are expected to require humanitarian assistance as a result of armed conflict in the north of the country, insecurity and intercommunal violence across several other regions, a devastating drought affecting the south and east, and the ongoing overall economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Ethiopia is host to nearly 875,000 refugees who have fled crises in neighbouring countries and sought safety within its borders.

To date in 2022, Canada has allocated a total of $54.5 million in humanitarian assistance funding to its UN, Red Cross/Red Crescent, and NGO partners to support populations affected by crisis in Ethiopia. Canada’s funding is helping to provide food, treatment for acute malnutrition and other critical health care, access to clean water and sanitation, emergency shelter and essential household items, and protection services to those in need.

The challenging development assistance context in Ethiopia has resulted in a fluid and sometimes unpredictable delivery environment for Canada’s international assistance. In this context, Canada is continually assessing opportunities to advance its international assistance priorities, and remain responsive to the emerging needs of the most vulnerable. To adapt to changes in the development context in Ethiopia, the bilateral international assistance program has refocused its programming to build resiliency, support survivors of the conflict and other vulnerable groups, and focus on supporting basic human needs in ways that complement humanitarian and peacebuilding objectives. Food security, agriculture and nutrition are priorities for Canadian development assistance in Ethiopia and the program is exploring opportunities in this space. The program continues to place priority on initiatives that support gender quality and women’s empowerment, including sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Ethiopia is one of Canada’s largest recipients of international assistance ($215.57 million in 2020-21). Our international development assistance program does not provide direct budget support to the Government of Ethiopia.

In 2021, the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) started to support peacebuilding programming in response to the Tigray conflict. In 2022, PSOPs committed $3.4 million in new initiatives that support local conflict resolution capacity and conflict-sensitive, inclusive dialogue, with a particular focus on women. PSOPs is currently exploring potential opportunities in relation to human rights, mine action, and conflict sensitivity.

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Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Ethiopia work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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