Ethiopia has made important development gains over the past two decades, reducing poverty and expanding investments in basic social services. However, food insecurity and under-nutrition still hinder economic growth. According to government estimates, 7.88 million people require food assistance.
The country is home to the second largest refugee population on the continent, hosting 928,663 registered refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Kenya. Unrest in parts of the country has also led to a surge in the number of internally displaced people.
Recurrent drought and failed harvests have left a negative legacy on many families, who have lost livestock and other productive assets. The Somali Region remains the epicentre of drought and has also been prone to flash floods, with an estimated 1.8 million people in need of life-saving food assistance.
Despite these challenges, the Government's five-year Growth and Transformation Plans aim to move the country to middle-income status by 2025, by sustaining rapid growth and speeding up structural transformation. WFP supports this goal through a range of life-saving and resilience-building activities, as well as by providing assistance in refugee camps and to internally displaced people. Working with the Government and other key partners, WFP uses food, cash, nutrition assistance and other approaches such as training local work forces and restoring infrastructure, to improve nutrition, empower women, develop local capacities and enhance preparedness to climate-related shocks.
The scale of WFP's operations in Ethiopia is reflected in the fact that its food assistance represented 12 percent of WFP’s total tonnage worldwide in 2017. At the same time, we moved over 24,000 metric tons of cargo while providing logistics support to our partners.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Ethiopia
Emergency responseWFP is providing a combination of food and cash to people identified under the 2018 Humanitarian Disaster Resilience Plan in Somali Region, food to conflict–affected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Somali Region, and food and cash to IDPs in Oromia Region.
Food security and nutritionWFP is a partner in Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which provides conditional cash transfers to 1.7 million people as they participate in work including water and soil conservation and road building. In support to the Government’s scaling up of PSNP to respond to shocks, WFP is providing over 600,000 people with cash transfers. WFP provides nutrition assistance to 2.9 million vulnerable people, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under 5 and orphans. We also work to prevent stunting through our Fresh Food Voucher pilot programme, which encourages a diverse and healthy diet.
Early warning and climate actionWFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit supports the Government on early warning and action, supporting emergency needs assessments and conducting market assessments. WFP’s climate work helps people cope with drought and reduces the need for emergency assistance. The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative includes building plots to grow food, and training in areas such as water storage, in exchange for insurance and increased access to credit and loans. Under the Satellite Index Insurance for Pastoralists in Ethiopia, communities work on projects to improve soil and water management in exchange for insurance payments for livestock feed and veterinary materials. that help keep animals alive during droughts.
RefugeesWFP provides food and cash transfers, targeted nutrition programmes, school feeding and livelihood support to an estimated 700,000 registered refugees. Livelihood work includes irrigation agriculture, natural resource management and market development, to help refugees and host communities around the camps gradually become self-reliant for their food needs.
Capacity buildingWFP works with the Government on logistics capacity-building activities. For instance, we help Ethiopia boost its emergency logistics preparedness through establishing humanitarian staging areas, supporting the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority to reduce port congestion, and strengthening the road transport sector in cooperation with Federal Road Transport Authority.
Supply chainEthiopia hosts one of WFP’s largest and most complex supply chain operations, managing the delivery of over 400,000 metric tonnes of food per year to 3,000 final distribution points and 26 refugee camps. WFP provides supply chain services and expertise to other humanitarian agencies, to support their operations in Ethiopia and the region. The WFP-managed UNHAS service for example provides air transport for humanitarian partners to 20 destinations, allowing delivery of assistance to remote and otherwise inaccessible areas.
School mealsWFP works with the Government and local partners to improve nutrition and promote education for Ethiopian school children. By providing nutritious meals, WFP supports more than 616,000 school children living in the Afar, Oromia, SNNPR and Somali regions of Ethiopia. Home-Grown School Feeding, with locally procured products such as cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt, brings additional benefits including increased income for farmers and a boost for the local economy.