Though it is making progress, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with one in four Ethiopians living on less than $1 per day. USAID's main objective in Ethiopia is to overcome the country's near-constant state of food insecurity. Natural disasters, extreme poverty and underdevelopment, poor water and land management, and inadequate access to health care, education, and economic opportunity are the main causes of underdevelopment. USAID's work in Ethiopia improves disaster prediction and response management, economic growth, governance structures, and the quality of health care and education.
PEACE AND SECURITY
Regional stability in the Horn of Africa is inextricably linked to internal stability in Ethiopia. Extremist influences, increasing inter-religious tension and increased insurgent and counter-insurgent operations in Somali Regional State, increase the risk of conflict and instability in Ethiopia. USAID supports conflict mitigation and reconciliation efforts, including advisory, facilitation, mediation, negotiation, and problem solving activities that support government and civil society stakeholders in high-tension and violence-prone areas. In 2008, USAID funded the South Omo Peace Concert, which brought together 17 ethnic groups and celebrated and cemented efforts to promote joint water resource, rangeland, and pasture management around South Omo National Park.
GOVERNING JUSTLY AND DEMOCRATICALLY
In Ethiopia, USAID strengthens the capacity and role of civil society, improves independent human rights monitoring, investigation, and reporting, and works to improve the respect the judiciary and police have for international, national, and institutional human rights regulations. USAID also strengthens the federal and regional parliaments operating in the new, multiparty environment, and builds the capacity of national and regional judicial training centers and select law schools.
INVESTING IN PEOPLE: HEALTH
Inadequate health care is a key impediment to Ethiopia's development. USAID is supporting the Government of Ethiopia's Health Sector Development Plan, which is seeking to train and deploy 30,000 community-based health extension workers by early 2009. The workers will provide primary health services, creating a continuum of quality care from health centers to health posts and communities. USAID also implements the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President's Malaria Initiative and promotes synergies between these and other USAID programs.
INVESTING IN PEOPLE: EDUCATION
Through the Africa Education Initiative and other programs, USAID improves the quality and equity of primary education by training teachers and administrators, strengthening planning, management, and monitoring and evaluation systems, and fostering community partnerships and school governance by building the capacity of parent-teacher associations and school grant management. Scholarship support also encourages girls and HIV/AIDS orphans to attend, and succeed in, school.
USAID programs in Ethiopia drive economic growth and promote an enabling environment for agriculture, the private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises, and trade and investment. These programs include investments in the tourism sector, agri-business expansion, and continued support to African Growth and Opportunity Act exports, World Trade Organization accession, pastoralist areas, and the livestock and agriculture sectors. USAID's Agribusiness and Trade Expansion Activity increases exports by supporting entire value chains for goods like hides and skins and lowers production costs of crops like sesame seeds and strawberries. Along with other major donors, USAID supports Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program to reduce chronic food insecurity, which affects approximately a tenth of the population, through support to policy, regulatory, and administrative systems.
USAID funding builds the capacity for disaster readiness and planning within the government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency so that it can better coordinate and facilitate local and international disaster response efforts. U.S. assistance also strengthens assessment methodologies and supports policy reform efforts