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Ethiopia has made important development gains over the past two decades, reducing poverty and expanding investments in basic social services. However, food insecurity and under-nutrition still hinder economic growth. According to government estimates, 7.88 million people require food assistance.

The country is home to the second largest refugee population on the continent, hosting 928,600 registered refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Kenya. Unrest in parts of the country has also led to a surge in the number of internally displaced people.

Recurrent drought and failed harvests have left a negative legacy on many families, who have lost livestock and other productive assets. The Somali Region remains the epicentre of drought and has also been prone to flash floods, with an estimated 1.8 million people in need of life-saving food assistance.

Despite these challenges, the Government's five-year Growth and Transformation Plans aim to move the country to middle-income status by 2025, by sustaining rapid growth and speeding up structural transformation. WFP supports this goal through a range of life-saving and resilience-building activities, as well as by providing assistance in refugee camps and to internally displaced people. Working with the Government and other key partners, WFP uses food, cash, nutrition assistance and other approaches such as training local work forces and restoring infrastructure, to improve nutrition, empower women, develop local capacities and enhance preparedness to climate-related shocks.

102 million
11.5 million
people are in need of emergency food assistance
refugees live in Ethiopia

What the World Food Programme is doing in Ethiopia

  • Emergency response

    WFP is providing both food and cash assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somali region, and to IDPs in Oromiya region.
  • Food security and nutrition

    WFP is a partner in the Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), which provides conditional cash transfers to 1.7 million people as they participate in work including water and soil conservation. In support to the Government’s scaling up of PSNP to respond to shocks, WFP is providing over 600,000 people with cash transfers. WFP provides nutrition assistance to 2.9 million vulnerable people, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under 5 and orphans. We also work to prevent stunting through a fresh food voucher pilot programme, which encourages diverse and healthy diets.
  • Early warning and climate action

    WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit supports the Government on early warning and action, supporting emergency needs assessments and conducting market assessments. WFP’s climate work helps people cope with drought and reduces the need for emergency assistance. The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative includes building plots to grow food, and training in areas such as water storage, in exchange for insurance and increased access to credit and loans. Under the Satellite Index Insurance for Pastoralists in Ethiopia (SIIPE), communities work on projects to improve soil and water management in exchange for insurance payments for livestock feed and veterinary materials. that help keep animals alive during droughts.
  • Refugees

    WFP provides food and cash transfers, targeted nutrition programmes, school feeding and livelihood support to an estimated 700,000 registered refugees. Livelihood work includes irrigation agriculture, natural resource management and market development, to help refugees and host communities around the camps gradually become self-reliant for their food needs.
  • Capacity building

    WFP works with the Government on logistics and nutrition capacity-building activities. For instance, we help Ethiopia boost its emergency logistics preparedness through establishing humanitarian staging areas, supporting the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority to reduce port congestion, and strengthening the road transport sector in cooperation with Federal Road Transport Authority. In addition, WFP is supporting the training of hundreds of health workers throughout the country.
  • Supply chain

    Ethiopia hosts one of WFP’s largest and most complex supply chain operations, managing the delivery of over 400,000 metric tonnes of food per year to 3,000 final distribution points and 26 refugee camps. WFP provides supply chain services and expertise to other humanitarian agencies, to support their operations in Ethiopia and the region. The WFP-managed UNHAS service for example provides air transport for humanitarian partners to 20 destinations, allowing delivery of assistance to remote and otherwise inaccessible areas.
  • School meals

    WFP works with the Government and local partners to improve nutrition and promote education for Ethiopian school children. By providing nutritious meals, WFP supports more than 616,000 school children living in the Afar, Oromia, SNNPR and Somali regions of Ethiopia. Home-Grown School Feeding, with locally procured products such as cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt, brings additional benefits including increased income for farmers and a boost for the local economy.

Ethiopia news releases

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Partners and donors

Achieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Ethiopia is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:


Addis Ababa

Kifle Ketema Kirkos, Kebele 26, House No. 1041, Marshall Tito Avenue, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PO Box 25584, Code 1000, Addis Abab

Phone: +251 115 515188

Fax: +251 115 514433

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