Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia


EU Projects with Ethiopia

11/05/2016 - 16:48

EU Projects with Ethiopia

The EU programme of financial and technical cooperation supports Ethiopia's ambitious economic development agenda. Different projects are currently being carried out across a wide-range of sectors in Ethiopia. EU assistance focuses in particular on support for infrastructure development, food security, good governance, and capacity building, EU funding for projects in Ethiopia is provided in the form of grants, sectoral support, and protection of basic services, and productive safety nets support.

Latest Projects

Agriculture is Ethiopia's most strategic economic sector and the main driver of growth. It employs 78% of the country's workforce, generates 45% of its total output and makes up 80% of its exports. It is also by far the main source of food for most of the population. At the same time, Ethiopian agriculture is largely rain-fed, based on smallholder and subsistence farming, not highly productive and not very market-oriented.

The Government of Ethiopia recognizes these challenges and invests significant resources to develop the agricultural sector. The European Union is one of Ethiopia's top donors in agricultural modernization and food security, investing approximately €252 million from 2015 to 2020. A large proportion of these funds are contributed to Ethiopia's three government-executed flagship programmes – the Agricultural Growth Programme, the Productive Safety Net Programme and the Sustainable Land Management Programme – all of which are expanding the stock of rural infrastructure to increase agricultural productivity in a sustained manner. Through these and other initiatives, the EU is helping smallholder farmers across Ethiopia access the following public goods: improved seeds and other inputs, water from new irrigation works, extension services linked to the latest agricultural research, space in newly built markets, feeder roads to take produce to those markets, and other undertakings aimed at expanding production and sales of agricultural products. The EU also promotes and funds nutrition-sensitive action in agriculture in order to reduce the high incidence of stunting and underweight among Ethiopian children.

The EU maintains a close and constructive relationship with the Ethiopian agricultural ministries in its capacity as co-chair of the Rural Economic Development and Food Security Working Group, the overarching donor coordination and harmonization structure in the Agricultural Sector.

For decades, Ethiopia has been steadily linked to the idea of food insecurity. Since 2005, the GoE in partnership with the EU and other donors put in place the Productive Safety Net Programme to tackle those recurrent food crises. PSNP provides multi-annual predictable transfers, in food, and/or cash, to help millions of chronically food insecure households to survive food deficit periods and avoid depleting their productive assets. In exchange, able-bodied individuals earn wages by working on public works projects for 30 days during a period of six months each year during the lean season. The public works assets created by PSNP address root causes of poverty and vulnerability, by restoring watersheds, land rehabilitation and building much needed basic infrastructure. It is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and is co-financed with the support of the EU and other 9 donors. The 4th phase of PSNP (2015-2020) targets up to 10 million people, it has a budget of € 3 billion and its goal is to build resilience by improving food security, nutrition and the creation of livelihood and job opportunities.

Aware that to solve the problem of food insecurity, a broader and more ambitious goal is necessary to build the resilience in those communities to withstand the recurrent shocks, ECHO and DEVCO jointly put in place in 2012 the EU Resilience building programme in Ethiopia. RESET is an innovative approach tackling chronic humanitarian and long-term needs and recurrent food insecurity. It aims to build the resilience and expand the coping capacities of the most vulnerable populations in specifically selected areas which are highly drought prone and food insecure. It is a multifaceted programme transcending sectorial boundaries that creates bridges and synergies between humanitarian and development partners and actions beyond the LRRD2 approach. It is complementarity with the PSNP and therefore RESET does not provide food and cash support (safety nets) but proposes, in 8 highly vulnerable clusters a broader package of interventions and covers around 2.5 million people that will support on graduation and DRM. The motto is: "saving lives, saving livelihoods"

The EU has been supporting the Ethiopian road sector since 2006 with budget support operations. Currently the Sector Policy Support Program (SPSP) is in its fourth phase and is covering the period 2016-2020, with a total budget of 140 Million Euros.

The expansion of the road network plays a key role in boosting the sustainable development of Ethiopia. The construction and rehabilitation of paved roads contribute to the economic growth and set the foundations for regional integration. In rural areas, the recently built rural roads are now providing access to basic services and markets for the majority of the Ethiopian population which lives in remote areas.

The results achieved in 19 years of Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) are impressive. The network has increased from 26,000 km in 1997 to 113,000 km in 2016. The average time distance from all-season roads has been reduced from 5 hours in 2005 to 1.7 hours in 2015 and 70% of Kebeles (smallest administrative unit) are now connected to the road network.

The EU in the period 2015-2017 has also deployed a technical cooperation program to support the stakeholders in improving the quality of ongoing construction activities and addressing two of the major issues in the sector, namely road safety and road maintenance.

The EU has been supporting Ethiopia's energy sector for many years, amongst others through financing rural electrification projects as well as technical assistances to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE) and the Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA). The country's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) National Action Plan was financed under one such technical assistance. The adoption of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Ethiopia, which features energy as a focal sector of the EU's development aid to Ethiopia, has marked a further step towards reinforced cooperation.

Access to modern, safe and sustainable energy services, renewable production and energy efficiency were selected as specific objectives to focus on over the 2014-2020 period. Two projects are now started implementation. One aims at disseminating 35.000 biogas digesters throughout the country; it will be implemented by the Dutch NGO SNV. The other one consists in scaling up GIZ's Energizing Development (EnDev) programme; it supports the development of a market for improved cook stoves (ICS), high quality solar home systems (SHS) and pico-size photovoltaic devices as well as the promotion of briquettes and the implementation of off grid micro hydropower projects.

The EU has a comprehensive approach to migration, involving policy dialogue and migration projects aimed at ensuring well-managed migration flows in the Horn of Africa region in line with the Valletta Action Plan. In November 2015, Ethiopia and the EU signed a bilateral declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), which establishes a framework for enhanced political and operational cooperation on migration matters between the EU, Member States and Ethiopia. The EU is also involved in the Khartoum Process (EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative). To ensure better coordination of project activities and political dialogue with the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), the EU Delegation to Ethiopia has initiated a local EU+ Coordination Group on migration with EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. The EU supports projects improving access to safe, legal migration, migration legislation, returnee and reintegration support, prevention of smuggling and trafficking, job creation and support to CSOs working on migration matters. Support is given directly to the GoE (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), international organisations such as ILO, UNODC, IOM, IFRC and CSOs for a value of approximately 80 million Euro.

EU Emergency Trust Fund

Due to ongoing unprecedented levels of irregular migration, the EU Trust Fund has been created to support the most fragile and affected African countries. The Trust Fund aims to help foster stability in the regions to respond to the challenges of irregular migration and displacement and to contribute to better migration management. More specifically, it will help address the root causes of destabilisation, displacement and irregular migration, by promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development. So far, four programmes for Ethiopia have been adopted under the Trust Fund: Stemming Irregular Migration to Northern and Central Europe (SINCE) (20 million Euro), Resilience Building in Ethiopia (RESET) (67.5 million Euro) and Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) (30 million Euro).

Ethiopia faces big challenges regarding women rights and gender equality. In order to support the country in addressing those gaps, the EU has adopted a three pronged approach: 1) funding of gender related programmes; 2) gender mainstreaming every EU programme in Ethiopia (be it in the road, energy, rural development or the health sector) and 3) conducting a policy dialogue with the gender related institutions.

The EU is involved in different women related programmes:

  • One programme with the Ministry of Women and Children affairs to improve vocational and entrepreneurship skills of women;
  • Four programmes aiming at supporting Ethiopia in its efforts to reduce maternal mortality through: 1) enhancing skilled delivery; 2) access, service and utilisation of reproductive health; 3) promoting sexual and reproductive health and family planning services for marginalised women and girls and 4) a budget support to the health sector, and in particular to the maternal health;
  • Civil society organisations interventions in the areas of women leadership, legal aid on gender based violence prevention, capacity strengthening of self-help groups among others.


The EU is also supporting women through a programme protecting Ethiopian and Somali women domestic migrant workers.

Donor coordination on women and gender issues takes place in the framework of the DAG technical working group on Gender equality and in the framework, at EU level, of the EU+ Gender task force. Coordination among the EU Delegation and the EU Member States avoids overlaps and fosters interventions' complementarity.

Pro-He-Dev is a programme which acknowledges the role of heritage and culture as key element of sustainable development. It supports culture to further Ethiopia's cultural and socio-economic development as well as protecting and safeguarding its heritage for the future wellbeing of the nation.

The Pro-He-Dev project works around the country in three inter-linked clusters of activities:

The first cluster foresees to strengthen the Ministry of Culture and Tourism capacities and to improve conservation and promotion of the rich paleontological heritage.

The second cluster consists of specific support for regional development projects based on local cultural resources. 6 Regional Grants covering Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Harar and Afar have supporting the regional cultural and tourism bureaus work.

The third cluster aims at strengthening two creative industries: 1/ music, and 2/ Image/audio-visual arts. In this context a Grant for the Yared School of Music has been signed at the beginning of 2016 and grants for audio-visual art are to be signed very soon.

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