Where We Are - Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is one of the priority countries of intervention for the Italian Cooperation’s. The current financial commitment of the Italian Cooperation in Ethiopia, regulated by the ongoing Country Programme (2009 – 2011), amounts to 49.3 million Euros.
Despite having limited funds, the activity of the Italian Cooperation in Ethiopia is based on criteria of quality and effectiveness of aid:

1) It is regulated by a three-year country program that allows to plan resources and policies ahead;

2) It makes extensive use of country systems and multi-donor funds;

3) It enhances and supports the presence of Italian NGOs;

4) It takes part in all the main donor coordination fora (DAG and sectoral Working Groups) and participates in developing and implementing a common EU strategy (Joint Programming).

Strengthening of primary, vocational / technical-professional and higher education systems are the main components of the Italian Cooperation’s activity in the education sector. Key importance was given to the technical and vocational system with the rehabilitation and equipping of four reference institutions of the country. The Italian Cooperation also contributes, along with the World Bank, to DFID, the Netherlands and Finland, to the Fund for the General Education Quality Improvement (GEQIP). (ongoing initiatives amount to 24 million Euros)

Infrastructure: water and energy
In the water sector, Italy intervenes both at urban level, supplying water in 5 cities located in the 4 major regions of the country, and at rural level,in 5 districts of the Oromiya region. Italy also contributes, through UNICEF, to a program for the specific sectors capacity building of regions and districts. Although now it is completed, it has to be highlighted the primary role of the Italian financing to the construction of Gilgel Gibe II hydroelectric plant. With a production capacity of 420 MW, the plant covers a fifth of the country's electricity production (ongoing initiatives amount to 10 million grant + 220 million Euros soft loans).

In addition to being the third largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia and participate in the common fund for the procurement of essential goods (MDG Fund), Italy, through its technical assistance, has taken a leadership role in the development of the National Health Information System (ongoing initiatives amount to 20 million).

Rural Development
Within the agricultural sector, in the Arsi Bale region, where in the past years Italy promoted an outstanding rural development program, the Italian Cooperation is now intervening, together with the Overseas Agricultural Institute (IAO), to strengthen two traditional crops’ value chains – durum wheat and wild coffee - the latter in partnership with Slow Food. Another initiative, carried out by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (IAM) of Bari, aims at strengthening the local agricultural extension services in Amara and Oromia to support the activities of fruit and vegetable smallholders. In the same sector FAO, thank to two Italian contributions, is carrying out two projects in Oromiya, Tigray and Amhara for supporting small scale farmers(ongoing initiatives amount to 9 million).

Humanitarian Emergency
In order to respond to the humanitarian crisis that has affected a wide area of the country, a 1.3 million Euros post-emergency program has been carried out through 5 Italian NGOs’ interventions for risk prevention in the water and health sectors. Furthermore 500,000 euro were granted to the HRF - Humanitarian Response Fund through OCHA (ongoing initiatives amount to 1.8 million).

The Italian Cooperation participates in the gender sector through two voluntary contributions: respectively to ILO (650,000 Euros, just concluded) and UNESCO (500,000 USD), the first one being a pilot project aimed at the training of women prisoners and the creation of female inmates cooperatives in Makallè prison, while the second is aimed at facilitating the completion of the secondary education cycle by young girls. Italy also contributes with 100,000 Euros to the ‘Gender Pooled Fund’ coordinated by UNDP (ongoing initiatives amount to 1.25 million).

2013-2015 Country Programme
The new Country Programme 2013-2015 is in line with the Ethiopian Government’s Growth and Transformation Plan - GTP and integrated in the pilot programming action (Joint Programming) among EU member States. The reduction of available financial resources has been overcome by proposing to the Ethiopian Government a cooperation program based on soft loans, under particularly favourable conditions, instead of grants. In the wake of recent developments and the Italian commitment to the ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’ launched at the G8 summit at Camp David on May 18, the new country program will commit the majority of the financial resources to the development of the agricultural sector, with a particular focus on smallholders, strengthening of value chains and creation of a favourable environment for private investments. The second area of intervention will be the one of basic services, in particular health (with a focus on maternal and child health), water (water access in small and medium towns) and education (quality improvement in general education – GEQIP II). A special focus will be dedicated to the cross-cutting issues of private sector development and gender, which will be mainstreamed in all the future initiatives.

Italian NGOs
Over the last 3 years, the Italian Cooperation has funded around twenty projects carried out by various Italian NGOs (CCM, COOPI, CVM, CUAMM, CISS, CISP, CIAI, LVIA, Progetto Continenti, Fondazione Rita Levi Montalcini).


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