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Christian Aid in Ethiopia

Our work

Christian Aid has worked in Ethiopia for more than 30 years, initially responding to emergencies, but gradually building a long-term development programme. Our work has focused on food security, secure livelihoods, health, economic justice, energy and climate change.

Christian Aid Ethiopia has substantial experience and a strong reputation for working on resilience and secure livelihoods in remote locations, particularly with pastoral communities. We work in key areas underserved by other development organisations, particularly the South Omo and Borena Zones, where we have strong relationships with partners, communities and local authorities. We have a good reputation for community-based interventions that are effective, sustainable and participatory.

We work with local partners to deliver programmes that bring about lasting change for vulnerable and marginalised people. We want our work to result in thriving, resilient and equitable communities where people, their assets and their livelihoods are resilient, and where previously disadvantaged individuals and communities feel increasingly able to influence decisions affecting their lives.

Our grassroots work and field-level experience gives us credibility in our contributions to the policy making process and on the impact of climate change on indigenous pastoral and agro-pastoral communities.

Working solely through local partners, we are in a position to influence local organisations to increase the gender sensitivity of their programmes as well as improve their accountability to the communities they seek to support.

We have a reputation for our work tackling HIV stigma, denial and discrimination. Through our work with faith-based organisations, we are well placed to influence religious communities and leaders who help determine socio-cultural norms in the country and to collaborate with other ecumenical agencies and faith-based networks.

Christian Aid funded Water Action to bring water to around 50,000 people in Ethiopia’s Wulbareg and Sankura districts by capping a spring and installing pipes. Thousands of villages have improved sanitation by building 2,500 latrines. Water Action has also ensured at least half the members of new water management committees are women.

By working with Muslim and Christian faith leaders our partners are able to reach thousands by capitalising on the regard in which religious figures are held to challenge stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

The emergency response to the east Africa food crisis in 2011, saw our partners supply food packages and drinking water to people on need. Our partners Agri Service Ethiopia and Action for Development continue to work to help communities improve their resilience to future droughts.

Agri Service Ethiopia is running a project to train people to become animal health workers. This has been successful in improving the condition of livestock and preventing avoidable deaths and is now being expanded to train additional people.

Women Support Association (WSA) works to improve the lives of women and communities affected by poverty and inequality. With Christian Aid’s support the organisation has set up women’s self-help groups and micro-credit schemes to enable women to become self-sufficient and economically independent. These groups also provide a forum for women to discuss key social and family issues that affect their lives.

Action for Development (AFD) is an Ethiopian Residents’ Charity that implements a programme to improve the soil so that local communities can grow and sell produce. The AFD programme is currently being implemented in the Borana, Gudji, and Bale zones of the Oromia National Regional State, and the South Omo zone of the Southern Region, with projects in livelihoods and resilience building, water and natural resource development and the promotion of inclusive basic services. The implementation of the AFD programme has contributed to increased productivity and income, enhanced access to quality basic services, and the overall strengthening of the resilience of vulnerable communities.

Ethiopian Muslims' Relief and Development Association (EMRDA) runs a Christian Aid supported programme aiming to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. EMRDA provides training courses for religious leaders, who then organise awareness raising sessions for youth and community leaders at Juma prayers on Friday at the mosques. Women with HIV are receiving vocational training and peer education initiatives; reaching thousands of Muslim youth. 

National Network of HIV Positive Ethiopian Women (NNPWE) is an umbrella organisation of 28 associations operating in all regions of Ethiopia. The overarching goal of the network is to make a genuine contribution to mitigate stigma around HIV/AIDS through greater and more meaningful involvement of HIV positive women with their associations. NNPWE is highly engaged in projects relating to sexual and reproductive health and pregnant mother to child transmissions of HIV, and economic strengthening programmes at a community level engaging local stakeholders. In addition NNPWE advocates against gender based violence and surrounding stigma and discrimination, promoting greater involvement of HIV positive women.

Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus South West Synod (EECMY-SWS DASSC) works on projects related to the areas of education, health and rural development and relief and rehabilitation programmes in the Oromia region.

Africa Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) has been working in Ethiopia since 1998, running health projects to reach marginalised groups including pastoralists, poor communities in rural and urban areas. AMREF works in South Omo, providing health services and access to education.

Assosa Environmental Protection Association (AEPA) supports the environmental protection programme in the Benishangul Gamuz region, actively participating in climate change adaptation activities, resource conservation, and rehabilitation of eroded lands. This project aims for the realisation of food security at the household level and eradication of poverty by developing self-sufficiency.

AEPA has hands-on experience in implementing innovative community-based actions that link conservation of natural resources with the improvement of livelihoods, and have been able to build replicable models for the future. Since AEPA has been established, more than one million people in five districts have been able to benefit from their work.

Through capacity building, implementation of community-based projects, and supporting local environmental champions to represent themselves in national and international forums on the environment, AEPA has empowered people to act locally for the climate.

Consortium of Christian Relief Development Association (CCRDA) is Christian Aid’s longest-standing partner in Ethiopia. It is an umbrella organisation of more than 200 NGOs and faith-based agencies. CCRDA provides a range of services including funding for micro-projects, logistical support, and capacity building through training and advisory services.

Education for Development Association (EFDA) is a non-governmental organisation which supports communities in various areas such as education and skill training, livelihoods and environment, crosscutting issues and HIV/AIDS; women health and empowerment.

Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development Dialogue and Action (EIFDDA) is an alliance of faith-based organisations in Ethiopia, representing more than 97% of the population of Ethiopia. The aim of EIFDDA is to provide mechanisms for faith-based organisations (FBOs) to be effectively engaged in inspiring development practices that could ultimately bring about social, economic, cultural and spiritual prosperity for the majority of Ethiopians.

EIFDDA has successfully brought various faith groups on board and brought the voices of faith communities into the areas of peace building, social accountability, health and HIV/AIDS prevention and control. The forum has been promoting social mobilisation against HIV/AIDS and aggressively working on supporting vulnerable orphaned children in more than 400 woredas across the country through nine member faith-based organisations.

Forum for Environment (FfE) is one of the leading Ethiopian civil society organisations working on climate change policy dialogue and supporting negotiations; it has an extensive record of accomplishments on environmental and climate change issues in Ethiopia. It has hosted several climate change forums, served as a learning hub on climate change through dissemination of information, research and has an excellent track record of working with the media on climate change issues.

FfE currently hosts the Ethiopian Civil society Network on Climate Change (ECSNCC) that consists of 60 member organisations working on climate change issues. Since its establishment FfE has been actively engaged in drawing the attention of citizens to the severity of environmental challenges in the country and promoting viable solutions.

HUNDEE Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative works with rural poor communities. It has identified four areas of work: civic education, environmental rehabilitation, women's economic support, and supporting children and senior citizens.

A project to enhance the livelihoods of poor women in rural communities is being funded by Christian Aid. This project promotes the traditional Debare system of distributing heifers to female-headed households, and this will eventually be the basis for establishing dairy cooperatives. Read more about how this project has impacted the lives of women here.

Lutheran World Federatiom (LWF) Ethiopia established in 1973 at the request of EECMY to alleviate  the suffering caused by severe drought in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian programme currently implements both humanitarian and development programmes across the country. LWF is a Humanitarian Accountability Partnership certified organisation and is currently implementing a humanitarian project with Christian Aid, providing support for south Sudanese refugees in Gambela.

Mary Joy Development Association (MJDA) was established in 1994 as a legal, non governmental organisation with a vision to see a healthy and empowered society, free from poverty. It is an Ethiopian Resident Charity that operates in 76 kebeles under 4 sub cities of Addis Ababa, and in 10 woredas of the SNNPRS.

MJDA programmes focus on health, education, economic strengthening, gender development, reproductive health, and community capacity building. The programmes have improved the lives of many thousands of vulnerable children and their caregivers, poor women, unemployed youth, the elderly; as well as HIV/AIDS infected people. MJDA has achieved a good record of securing public-private community partnerships and facilitating local resource mobilization. 

SOS Sahel Ethiopia is a national NGO with over 20 years of experience in working with rural communities as well as the Ethiopian government to tackle poverty. Specifically, the agency is working with smallholder farmers and pastoralist people in Ethiopia to tackle poverty through sustainable natural resource management and value chain development. Central to SOS Sahel Ethiopia's development interventions is empowering the poor the exercise their environmental, social, civil, cultural and economic rights.

Our strategy for Ethiopia has three key themes – resilient livelihoods, equitable societies and healthy families.

Resilient livelihoods

We are working to increase wealth creation opportunities and build livelihood resilience for poor and marginalised people, particularly pastoral and agro-pastoral communities. Their livelihoods are highly dependent on an environment increasingly under threat from climate change, and traditional coping strategies are no longer enough. There is an urgent need to improve protection, diversification and productivity of their livelihoods and to support them to be more resilient to future risks and hazards.

Our goals include:

• better production capacity and more diverse livelihood options and asset creation
• strengthened collective power in accessing finances
• improved market systems functioning
• enhanced protection of lives, assets and livelihoods.

Equitable societies

We will work to improve the ability of under-served groups and people living in poverty, especially women and girls, to make and achieve self-determined choices.

Our goals include:

• increased accountability of NGOs to the communities with whom they work
• decreased HIV-related stigma, denial and discrimination
• successful climate justice campaigning
• changing the social norms that create and reinforce gender inequity.

Healthy families

We work to improve health, increase healthy behaviours and support increased access to services essential for better health.

Our goals include:

• increasing the capacity of the healthcare system
to deliver quality services for remote and marginalised communities
• decreasing disease related to waterborne diseases and unsafe sanitation by improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene
• improving health-seeking behaviour and preventative practices among marginalised communities.

Where we work and who we work with

Click on the map to see the reach of our programme in Ethiopia and find out more about our partners.

Ethiopia Map