Skip to main content

Ethiopia has made important development gains over the past two decades, reducing poverty and expanding investments in basic social services. However, food insecurity and malnutrition are still a major concern across the country; an estimated 20.4 million people currently require food support. This includes internally displaced persons (IDPs), who have had to leave their homes due to the conflict in the country’s north and the severe drought in south and southeast. 

Despite these challenges, the Government of Ethiopia’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. The World Food Programme (WFP) supports this goal through a range of life saving and resilience-building activities, targeted at vulnerable populations experiencing acute and chronic food insecurity (including refugees and IDPs) and those at risk of malnutrition.

WFP also supports the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) which provides predictable, multi-year assistance to millions of chronically food-insecure rural households, to help them transition away from depending on emergency food assistance.

To compliment the Government of Ethiopia’s work and address the most urgent food security needs, WFP provides unconditional food and cash transfers to the most vulnerable families across Ethiopia, school feeding programmes and support to help smallholder farmers adapt to a changing climate.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Ethiopia

Emergency response
WFP provides unconditional food and cash transfers to the most vulnerable families across the country. In Northern Ethiopia – Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions – WFP supplies food to families who have been uprooted and impacted by conflict, alongside federal and regional authorities and NGO partners. In the Somali, Oromia and Southern Nationalities, Nations and People’s regions, WFP also provides emergency food assistance in response to severe drought.
Food security and nutrition
Through the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme, chronically food insecure households receive food and cash transfers in at times of critical need in exchange for building or rehabilitating community assets such as gardens and dams. Additionally, WFP supports 900,000 malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding women every month with nutritionally fortified foods. Vouchers to buy fresh foods are also provided to those most in need of nutrition support, enabling them to purchase healthy items.
Climate action and early warning systems
WFP is supporting drought-affected communities of agro-pastoralists in the Somali Region prepare for and manage climate shocks by carrying out anticipatory actions, providing microinsurance and helping boost their livelihoods. At the same time, WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping unit supports the Government of Ethiopia to conduct emergency food security assessments and market price monitoring, to best prepare for climate disasters.
WFP provides food and cash transfers, targeted nutrition programmes, school feeding and support to boost the livelihoods of roughly 700,000 refugees in camps across Ethiopia. WFP helps refugees with irrigation agriculture, natural resource management and small-scale entrepreneurial skills to help them and their host communities become more self-reliant and food secure.
School meals
WFP works with the Government of Ethiopia and partners to improve nutrition and promote education for children in the Afar, Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regions by providing school meals. WFP’s Home-grown School Feeding approach, meaning the provision of school meals made with locally procured produce such as grains, pulses, vegetable oil and salt, brings additional benefits to vulnerable communities, including increased income for smallholder farmers and a boost to the local economy.
Capacity strengthening
WFP works with the Government on supply chain capacity-strengthening activities, including reducing port congestion with the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority, strengthening the road transport sector with the Federal Road Transport Authority, and supporting the National Disaster Risk Management agency in its implementation of an end-to-end food tracking system.
Supply chain
Ethiopia hosts one of WFP’s largest supply chain operations, managing the movement of over 400,000 metric tons of food per year to 3,000 distribution points and 26 refugee camps. The WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service provides air transport for humanitarian partners and cargo to seven destinations across the country where transport infrastructure does not exist.

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:
Australia Austria Belgium Canada UN Central Emergency Response Fund



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

+251 115 515188
+251 115 514433
For media inquiries