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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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International assistance

Ethiopia is one of the top recipients of Canada’s international assistance ($250 million in 2022‑23). This includes development, humanitarian and peacebuilding assistance from Global Affairs Canada as well as funding from other federal departments.

Development assistance

Canada's development assistance aims to improve economic security and resilience, physical well-being, and agency of Ethiopians, particularly women and girls. To meet this objective, Canada delivers development assistance across all Action Areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy including Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance, Human Dignity, Growth that Works for Everyone, Peace and Security and Climate Action. Assistance is delivered through a range of partners including Canadian and international civil society organizations as well as multilateral organizations.

Bilateral development assistance focuses on resilience, support to survivors of the conflict and other vulnerable groups and supports basic human needs in ways that complement humanitarian and peacebuilding objectives. Inclusive economic growth and health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights are priorities for bilateral development assistance in Ethiopia. The program also prioritizes initiatives that support gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Canada does not provide direct budget support to the Government of Ethiopia.

Humanitarian assistance 

In 2024, more than 21.4 million Ethiopians are expected to require humanitarian assistance as a result of multiple and sometimes overlapping crises, including conflict, insecurity, climate-related events, disease outbreaks, and economic downturns. In addition, Ethiopia is host to more than one million refugees who have fled crises in neighbouring countries and sought safety within its borders.

To date in 2024, Canada has allocated a total of $30.7 million in humanitarian assistance funding to experienced partners to support populations affected by crisis in Ethiopia. Canada’s funding helps 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.

Peace and security programming

Since 2021, the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) has supported peacebuilding programming in response to the Tigray conflict. PSOPs supports programming that promotes conflict-sensitivity, conflict resolution, inclusive dialogue and transitional justice.  The meaningful engagement of women in the peacebuilding process and climate change are key cross-cutting programming considerations. 

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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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