Ethiopia: Overcoming chronic famine and drought


The consequences of the 2003 drought conditions that affected close to 14 million people severely impacted the ability of rural communities to respond and recover, despite improved humanitarian conditions. Ethiopia continues to suffer from the effects of this difficult situation today.

Since CHF International began working in Ethiopia in April 2004, we have established ourselves as a leader in mitigating chronic food insecurity and complex emergencies, by focusing on livelihood recovery and income generation. Currently, CHF is implementing three grassroots programs throughout rural regions of the country:

LIVE-WATER Program is diversifying livelihoods and increasing access to safe water for more than 100,000 direct beneficiaries. However, LIVE-WATER interventions reach far beyond this primary target population through multiple activities. CHF International anticipates that our partnership with Population Services International (PSI) and Water Action (WACT) in the sectors of health, water and sanitation is reaching 173,000 indirect beneficiaries in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR)-as well as 72,000 direct beneficiaries in the desert conditions of the Somali Region-through the social marketing of a home-based water treatment product, the Water Guard Safe Water System (SWS).

Program interventions affect a significant portion of the emergency-affected and food-insecure population in both regions, targeting the most vulnerable people in the kebeles (villages) where CHF operates. The LIVE-WATER Program has two primary goals:

- to rehabilitate and maintain the livelihood assets and skills of the most vulnerable households in the south to help them cope effectively with current and future economic, climatic and health shocks; and

- to increase the water supply and improve sanitation practices in the Somali Region, as well as promote hygiene education in both regions.

Intensification of the Generating Employment and Building Independence (I-GEBI) is a continuation of our successful USAID-funded GEBI program, which delivered resources and training to over 14,400 vulnerable households to help them increase income and assets, while providing capacity-building support to government officials.

Arecent GEBI impact assessment reveals a 28% increase in houshold assets among GEBI beneficiaries, while the percentage of GEBI households running two or more micro-enterprises (such as vegetable production and crafts production) increased from 58% to 92%.

Building upon these successes, I-GEBI continues to focus on the seven woredas of Maskan, Marako, Dalocha, Silti, Kadida Gamela, Kacha Birra, and Angacha in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). I-GEBI is intensifying income generation with existing GEBI households organized into Asset Building Groups (ABGs) by forming cooperatives and facilitating delivery of business development services and market linkages, while expanding initial livelihood diversification interventions to newly targeted PSNP beneficiaries in the target woredas.

Under I-GEBI, at least 28,400 food-insecure individuals will be reached, including 10,500 who have not previously benefited from CHF activities.