Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, and yet it still struggles with political unrest, high poverty rates and low education rates.

Ethiopia has experienced decades of political turmoil and the impoverished country is now under further stress due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and as the adverse affects of climate change continue to threaten agriculture, the base of the Ethiopian economy, the population living below the poverty line could rise. About half of all children ages five to 14 work.

In 2017, Ethiopia was still feeling the effects of the political unrest that shook the country last year. The state of emergency imposed by the state was only lifted in August 2017. The general situation has calmed down, but political tensions remain, occasionally leading to protests by the civilian population. The protests are mainly taking place in the Oromia region, where the Jaldu Epicenter is located. With the exception of a few field visits, however, the project activities were carried out according to plan.

In addition, the country was shaken by heavy rain in 2016, followed by exceptionally cold temperatures. This led to considerable crop losses in all epicenters. In 2017 the rainy season was optimal for a good agricultural harvest. This helped the farmers to recover more quickly from the crop failures.

Successes 2017

  • The Jaldu Epicenter was recognized by the state in November 2017 and registered as a cooperative. It is now called the Burka Gudetu Multipurpose Cooperative.
  • The Meskan Epicenter was able to declare its independence at the beginning of 2018. This means that the Epicenter meets all requirements to cover the basic needs of its community members independently (without support of the Hunger Project).
  • 502 women and 399 men participated in workshops and training sessions on the promotion of women, food security, literacy and education, health and nutrition, diversification of income, and vision, commitment and action.
  • The Jaldu Epicenter was able to sell various agricultural products such as potato seeds and cereals.
  • The Meskan Epicenter could earn additional income through a small grocery store as well as a tea and coffee service offered during meetings at the Epicenter.
  • Introduction of innovative agricultural practices in both epicenters, e.g. artificial insemination of livestock, beekeeping and poultry farming.

Mission Report

THP sites in Ethiopia

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"In the local VCA (Vision-Commitment-Action)-Workshops of THP, the majority of participants are women and they become empowered to lead their lifes independently, to take action and to influence their communities as self-responsible members. As such, they jointly find their own ways out of chronic hunger and external material dependence. THP joins this process locally, where the people are at home."

Therese Gerber-F├╝rst, Management Consultant, has been supporting THP for more than 10 years

The Hunger Project Switzerland, Blumenweg 6B, CH-5300 Turgi
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