Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

BACKGROUND

Despite significant natural resource endowments, a large proportion of the people living in Ethiopia struggle to produce or buy enough nutritious food to feed their families. Crop and livestock productivity is plagued by erratic rainfall, crop and livestock diseases, poor infrastructure, limited access to markets, and lack of skilled human resources. These interrelated vulnerabilities contribute to Ethiopia being one of the poorest countries in the world. Without progressive interventions these conditions are reinforced generation to generation – perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

ACTION

The Benishangul Gumuz Food Security and Economic Growth Project (BSG FSEG) (2010 – 2015) supports communities in Ethiopia to diversify food choices, improve agricultural productivity and engage in sustainable income-generating activities. This project aims to improve the food security and economic well-being of vulnerable people and will directly benefit 127,000 individuals in the Benishangul Gumuz Region (BSG). With financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the project is a unique partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and six NGOs: The Canadian Hunger Foundation, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, Food for the Hungry, the International Network of Bamboo and Rattan, Oxfam Canada, Save the Children Canada and World Vision Canada.

The Regional Government, Local and International NGOs, Research Centers, and Academia are collaborating with the residents of the region -- especially women -- to address food security and connect some of the poorest families to markets to break the cycle of rural poverty. This innovative approach builds on best practices and integrates agricultural development, natural resource management, nutrition, gender, capacity building, disaster risk management, as well as value-chain and market-led development.