EU Projects with Ethiopia
The Civil Society Fund (CSF) programme is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the Ethiopian Government with the overall aim of increasing the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the development and democratization process in the country. The EU support has been made available through three phases, starting with CSF I, which was implemented between 2006 to 2012, followed by CSF II from 2012 to 2019, and currently CSF III, a 4-year programme, which began operations in November 2018. All three interventions have been managed by the European Union’s Delegation to Ethiopia, with the support of a Technical Assistance Unit (TAU).
The QDBH project aims at improving the nutrition situation of pregnant and lactating women and young children through dietary education and the incorporation of bio-fortified orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) varieties in the local farming system and diets. These varieties are highly nutritious and rich in vitamin A and have the potential to reduce vitamin A deficiency among in particular pregnant and lactating women and young children. QDBH works with smallholder families in four woredas in the Sidama and Gedeo zones in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in southern Ethiopia, who are trained in improved sweet potato farming techniques and infant and young child nutrition practices in so-called Healthy Living Clubs (HLCs). These clubs are facilitated by members of the Health Development Army (HDA) supervised by local Health Extension Workers (HEW) and receive support in sweet potato farming techniques from Development Agents (DAs) from the local Farmer Training Centers (FTCs). In addition, the project aims to reach urban consumers through the fresh root market and the incorporation of biofortified, orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties in processed foods such as injera, ambasha, dabo and bombolino.
Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa with a population of 87 million. In just over 20 years Ethiopia has reduced the prevalence of stunting (chronic under nutrition) in children less than five years of age from 67% to 40%. This has been a major contributing factor to Ethiopia’s impressive performance in reducing child mortality. However, even if this trend continues, Ethiopia will still fall short of its own commitment to reduce stunting to 20% by 2020 and 0% by 2030.
The European Union with the 20 EU Member States plus Norway (EU+) share a long-term vision for supporting Ethiopia’s development. In preparation for the joint programming of their development cooperation, the EU+ partners agreed to launch a pilot joint action in a priority sector of common interest. The theme of nutrition was selected as the pilot joint action to test the feasibility of joint, collaborative programming for enabling coordination, coherency and complementary of their interventions.
The project aimed to facilitate the creation of a strong women’s movement and activism, enhance the participation of women and women’s groups and to bring women’s socio-economic issues and especially Violence Against Women (VAW) to the attention of decision-makers at the national and regional levels. In addition, the project worked towards ensuring the realization of the socio-economic rights of women through enhancing the capacity of women’s associations and promoting dialogue in good governance and women’s rights protection. As a result of implementing this project, NEWA and its partners have made notable impact with regards to empowering women and girls and enhancing gender equality.