Results around the world – 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 174th out of 188 countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2016 Human Development Index, and about 34% of Ethiopians live on less than US$1.90 a day. Despite these challenges, Ethiopia has made major development strides. Poverty rates have fallen by one third since 2000 and Ethiopia has met seven of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals. The country has also experienced unprecedented economic growth for more than a decade.

These gains remain fragile as the country continues to be highly vulnerable to shocks, especially climate-related events such as drought. Food security and malnutrition remain critical issues. Over 80% of Ethiopians rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods, and malnutrition is the cause of 53% of infant and child deaths in the country. In recent years, between 10 and 18 million people have required emergency or developmental food assistance on an annual basis. In addition, important challenges remain in terms of human rights and democratic space, particularly for women and girls, as Ethiopia has some of the lowest gender-equality performance indicators in the world (ranking 115th out of 144 countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap report).

Canada provides international assistance to help Ethiopia address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable of its people. In 2016-17, Ethiopia was the largest recipient of Canadian assistance in Africa.

Canada’s development assistance in the country is focused on:

These objectives have been identified as central to poverty reduction and will help the Government of Ethiopia achieve its development goals as set out in its second Growth and Transformation Plan.

Key results

In 2017-18, Canada’s ongoing support to Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme contributed to food or cash transfers to 8 million families. The transfers were given in exchange for labour on community works that increased household and community resilience and improved household food security, nutrition and economic well-being. Community works included the rehabilitation and/or construction of small-scale irrigation schemes to irrigate some 12,000 hectares of land; the construction of 2,238 km of community roads to connect communities to markets; and the rehabilitation of 193,596 hectares of degraded lands through soil and water conservation activities.

From 2013 to 2018, Canadian Feed the Children’s Market-led Improved Livelihoods in Eastern Amhara Region project benefited 36,000 poor smallholder farmers in Ethiopia by increasing crop and livestock productivity through small-scale irrigation and the introduction of drought-resistant crops. Sustainable water use and watershed management practices, as well as intercropping, contributed to a 7.5% increase in vegetable production, the rehabilitation of 11 small irrigation systems, the excavation of 88 water ponds, and the transfer of 120 simple pumps to smallholder farmers.

Through the Growing Nutrition for Mothers and Children project, implemented by CARE Canada, more than 84,000 children under five years of age received health assessments, 46 water facilities were fully rehabilitated, and training was provided on maintenance and on the promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene in the community. In 2017-18, cooking demonstrations—among other nutrition interventions— were held for more than 15,000 beneficiaries, providing them with the opportunity to improve their knowledge on how to maximize dietary intake and use locally available nutritious food items.

Since 2014, through the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Project, more than 2,500 women have been provided with business loans, at a total value of $42 million, and over 3,600 women have been provided with business training. The program is also using innovative methods to make it easier for women to access larger loans with less collateral. This allows thousands of women to grow their businesses, increasing employment and profits.

In 2017, Canada’s humanitarian assistance helped to meet the emergency food and non-food needs of more than 8 million drought-affected Ethiopians and more than 800,000 South Sudanese, Somali and other refugees living in Ethiopia.

In addition, Canada provides long-term institutional support to UN, World Bank and global organizations involved in agricultural growth, emergency food assistance, and nutrition, as well as maternal, newborn and child health. For example, Canada is one of the largest bilateral funders globally of the World Food Programme, the Global Partnership for Education, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and GAVI -The Vaccine Alliance, all of which are very active in Ethiopia.

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