The Sustainable Development Goals in Ethiopia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. These are the goals the UN is working on in Ethiopia:
30 December 2021
Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team visits IDPs, humanitarian response in Afar
The visit aims to reach out and engage with Afar regional leadership and community leaders on the humanitarian situation, get first-hand update on the humanitarian situation in Afar- including needs on ground and on-going response and explore ways of scaling up the response to support the regional Government in addressing humanitarian needs in the region. According to the Disaster Prevention and Food Security Programme Coordination Office (DPFSPCO), more than 1.3 million people are directly or indirectly affected by the conflict and over 376,000 persons are displaced in the region. During the visit, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Catherine Sozi, discussed with Afar Region President Awol Arba on the humanitarian situation in the region and the UN and partners' response to address the substantial unmet needs. Dr. Sozi together with the Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team also discussed with community leaders on scaling up the humanitarian assistance in Afar to reach people in need and ensuring continued access to deliver humanitarian commodities to Tigray. The community leaders expressed their commitment to continue to facilitate humanitarian operations to affected civilians in Tigray via Semera corridor. However, they expressed their concern that the people affected by the conflict in Afar region, which serves as a transit for humanitarian cargo to Tigray, have not received adequate humanitarian support. Similarly, officials of Afar region noted that the region has already been vulnerable to a number of natural disasters and the conflict has exacerbated the suffering of the people in the region. In Afar, the EHCT visited the internally displaced people (IDPs) and activities of the UN and partners to meet the humanitarian needs of conflict affected people in two IDPs sites – Wake50 and Waranso. Over 54,000 IDPs are sheltered in Wake50 and Waranso IDP sites while the majority of the IDPs in the host community are living in Mille town. Initial priority needs of the displaced population include emergency food, water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), emergency shelter, non-food items, primary health care services, nutrition, protection and livelihood opportunities. UN and partners’ response The UN and partners have provided humanitarian assistance to the conflict affected areas in the region. WFP is targeting 534,000 food insecure people in 14 woredas. So far 129,370 beneficiaries (24%) have received food in four woredas. Islamic Relief distributed 1,800 quintals of wheat flour; 18,000 liters of cooking oil and standard non-food items (NFIs) to 2400 households in Wake 50IDPs site in Chifra. AMREF distributed 200 quintals of wheat flour, 400 litres of cooking oil to 400 households in Asbolo-Waranso Hurmati IDP site in Mille. As to health and nutrition support, UNICEF provided funding for capacity building of health professionals on Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) management, mass mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screening for children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW), last-mile transport support to the woredas, food for caretakers, and coordination. WFP has provided blanket supplementary feeding to nearly 78,000 (nearly 60,000 children under 5 and 18,000 pregnant and lactating women) in seven conflict-affected woredas and targeted supplementary feeding to nearly 100,000 people. There is an urgent need for water trucking and overhaul of the water system in all the IDP sites and host communities in two most affected zones of the region. In November, UNICEF and its partners reached 104,901 people through emergency water supply including water trucking and repairs/maintenance of durable water supply schemes. Also, UNICEF, through the Regional Water Bureau (RWB) and Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) distributed critical lifesaving WASH supplies to over 95,000 IDPs and conflict affected people. Similarly, hygiene promotion activities are ongoing in IDP sites and rural kebeles of Teru, Awura, Ewa, Chifra and Dubti for over 73,000 people through APDA. UNICEF also deployed 30 Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams currently providing lifesaving services and medical consultations including severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treatment integrated with infant and young children feeding (IYCF) and micronutrient supplementation in the affected locations. The two main coordination platforms in the Afar region include the Government-led Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) and OCHA-led Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG). An access working group has also been activated in Semera for partners to discuss access related issues. The Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team also discussed with representatives of local and international NGOs operating in Afar in order to strengthen coordination and partnership in providing humanitarian assistance to the conflict affected people. EHCT also pointed out the need to strengthen partnership with local NGOs and their access to humanitarian funds. After visiting the projects and meeting with representatives of partners and governments, EHCT underscored the need to mobilize more resources to scale up response in the region to address the needs - especially needs of IDPs and host community, including recovery, rehabilitation, and livelihoods. EHCT also underlined the need to enhance coordination among all actors, on emergency relief, emergency rehabilitation, resilience/recovery for life saving and durable solutions.
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18 January 2022
UNIDO and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Industry sign a €2 mln agreement to support Integrated Agro Industrial Parks
Ethiopia's Ministry of Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a €2m agreement to support Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIPs), funded by the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation. This agreement will contribute to the development of the agro-industrial sector and the creation of decent jobs and economic opportunities in the rural areas of Ethiopia. The objective of the new project is to support the inclusive and sustainable development of four pilot IAIPs. Project activities will concentrate on increasing private sector involvement in agro-industry, improving food quality, safety and traceability, and promoting social inclusion and environmental sustainability. With the support of UNIDO, the Government of Ethiopia has prioritized the establishment of the IAIPs as a primary tool to achieve agricultural modernization and rural industrialization in the country. To this end, the Government of Ethiopia has mobilized various funding sources and development partners for the implementation of IAIPs. The current project is for the development of the four pilot IAIPs, located in Oromia (Bulbula), Sidama (Yirgalem), Amhara (Bure) and Tigray (Baeker). The project is funded by the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation, in alignment with the Italian strategy outlined in the Ethio-Italian country framework 2017 - 2019 which encourages sustainable and inclusive economic growth to ensure full employment and decent work for all, especially in rural areas, as well as promoting partnerships between Italian and Ethiopian institutions to ensure continuity of investment and transfer of technologies. The signature ceremony was attended by H.E. Shisema Gebreselassie, State Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Aurelia Patrizia Calabrò, UNIDO Representative and Director of the Regional Office Hub, and Isabella Lucaferri, Head of the AICS Addis Ababa Office.
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18 January 2022
Social workers rally support for displaced people in northern Ethiopia
The pain and trauma that Mebrat experienced when she fled her home has helped her in her current role as a social worker, making her better understand the plight and needs of the people she assists. The 32-year-old mother of three never imagined she would become a symbol of hope, trust and strength for displaced Ethiopians who have found refuge in a health centre in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. “Some people tell me they can’t sleep at night. They have flashbacks of what they saw as they escaped,” she said. “I think they confide in me because I am friendly and I understand what they have been through.” She was forced to flee her home ten months ago by truck, then on foot, walking for five days until her shoes wore out, hiding in villages and sleeping on the road with no food or money. Today, she is using her pain to help others and she finds that it helps her do her job well. For the past three months, she has been working at a protection desk set up by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the site which has become a haven for many. “People of all ages come to ask for food, diapers, sanitary napkins, milk,” she said. “By helping them, we are ensuring that everyone gets the support they need most.” In Northern Ethiopia, the fighting over the last 12 months has created a humanitarian crisis that has forced millions to flee their homes in search of safety. Up to 8 million people urgently need food, water and other aid. The conflict has made it increasingly difficult to reach people in need, as security conditions in some areas continue to deteriorate. Mebrat receives about ten visitors daily and keeps the small room where the protection desk is housed clean and tidy. “I advise them based on my experience. I am honest with them and I tell them they are not alone. Sometimes, we just cry together,” she said. Her background is in business management – a profession she worked hard at for years. “I came from a poor family so I would sell tea in the morning and study at night. But with hard work, I built a family and became a professional,” she said proudly. In addition to distributing blankets, kitchen utensils and shelter materials to internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions in northern Ethiopia, UNHCR has set up a network of more than 50 protection desks, which are accessible to over half a million IDPs – with plans to expand to meet new displacement needs. Social workers like Mebrat serve a crucial role, linking them with service providers including humanitarian agencies. “Social workers are very close to the community, and we value their presence as they really support the physical and mental wellbeing of the displaced,” said Seda Kuzucu, UNHCR’s Senior Emergency Coordinator. She explained how they help improve the humanitarian response by identifying needs and gathering relevant information which is useful in referring urgent cases for assistance. “They provide a form of psychological first aid as many people are suffering from depression and anxiety due to the trauma they underwent, and the stress of an uncertain future.” Like Mebrat, Teklit fled his home with his wife and two-year-old son. He lost friends on the way, witnessed killings, escaped shelling, spent nights hiding in the bush and walked for days in search of safety. But in his current role, he has found new hope. “I wanted to help solve the problems of my community. This work is also helping me sustain my family and I keep learning every day,” he adds. His experience in sports is making a difference as he keeps people, especially the youth, engaged through football and volleyball tournaments. “I developed skills as a sports teacher that I am now putting into practice,” he said. “I used to tell my students to live for today and not to worry about tomorrow. No matter how hard the situation is, it will pass. I believe it deeply and I try to pass that message on to my community. Teklit has become like a big brother to some 25 unaccompanied and separated children hosted at the site. “I help identify the best way they can be assisted but the most important thing is to keep them busy and active. We play sports, we laugh, we dance. This is what fulfils me the most,” he said. His wife is his greatest supporter. “When I am stressed, she advises me. She is my social worker!” he said with a laugh. Although the social workers do as much as they can, they agree that it can be frustrating to not be able to do more. “Our work is very challenging as we don’t always have the answers,” Mebrat said. “Sometimes people just want food, which we don’t have enough of. However, we do our best to ensure that any form of humanitarian aid reaches those most in need.” They are encouraged by the critical role they play. “This work helps me too as I have also suffered a lot. It reminds me I am still alive and healthy and I can help my community,” adds Mebrat said. She dreams of returning home when there is peace. “Peace is important for all of us to recover fully. With peace, I know I can achieve anything I want and I will have a brighter future.”
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19 January 2022
Celebrating waste: How do we build an ecosystem in solid waste recycling, reuse, and upcycling?
When it comes to waste management we know that the informal sector plays a major role in upcycling and recycling waste. However, to make a significant impact and reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, we need to mobilize the private sector. We also need to build a compelling case and demonstrate return on investment. Why do solid waste recycling, reuse and upcycling make good, clean (and green) business sense? The market for segregated waste and waste products is currently be limited to recycling plastic and composting organic waste. However, there is a real opportunity as well as encouraging signs that turning waste into usable items (upcycling) and recycling paper, rubber, metal, among others, has the potential to grow in Ethiopia. Buoyed by this prospect the Accelerator Lab sought to explore and experiment this further by reaching out and connecting with key stakeholders and budding innovators interested in recycling, reusing, and upcycling. To operationalize this, the Lab Team embarked on a Solution ‘Safari’ to map out different waste products that can be profitable for waste collectors and held a solution fest to introduce waste and sustainable products. This expedition enabled us to listen to various inspiring stories of young people building their creative businesses while being environmentally conscious. The Solution Fest As a next step, the Accelerator Lab collaborated with the Addis Ababa Solid Waste Management Agency to organize a two-day solution fest that attracted over five hundred visitors. The fest enhanced local engagement within the ecosystem, providing an opportunity to explore the possibilities for stimulating the existing waste market and creating connections across the value chain for a robust and environmentally sustainable waste management system. The fest exhibited start-ups and innovators working with waste products, matched waste collectors, municipalities, and private sectors within the value chain, and held a dialogue to enhance community engagement within the ecosystem. The event created a unique opportunity and space for the exhibitors to showcase their innovations, explore connections with potential partners and initiate business transaction discussions with potential clients. In addition, it provided an opportunity for wider networking among the ecosystem players, as was reflected during the storytelling session provided for during the event. Scaling Deep During the event, we engaged in a futuristic and solution-driven discussion about waste management, including looking at how we can improve the market for recycling, upcycling, and reducing waste. In two panel discussions, we looked at how we can move towards sustainable waste management from the environmental, public health, and job creation perspectives. These dialogues were the highlight of the event, helping participants to generate ideas and lessons. The exchanges focused on building a waste management ecosystem that is open to economic opportunities, has positive impacts on cultural practices and influences policies and programmes. Theme one - The Future of Waste Management: Strategies for Economic Opportunity and Environmental sustainability. The session raised several learning questions like, what is the approach for a waste management system that is environmentally sustainable that is open to economic opportunities? How is the Public-Private Partnership working in waste management? What does research reveal about trends in waste management? How do we coordinate our efforts and create synergies for the future? Representatives from the government, a private recycling company, UNDP’s NAMA compost project and Waste to Energy researchers reflected on these points. Theme two - What opportunities exist? Their role in building a circular economy on waste. The second dialogue brought together multi-national corporations, environmental social movements, and urban design innovation hubs to share their experience and practical approach on the theme. Their story focused on developing a shared responsibility and approach to waste management, the key issues and challenges. Other questions included how to open waste as a business/ job opportunity, identifying opportunities for creating a circular economy, and creating connections across the waste value chain? How does advocacy contribute to a shared responsibility for waste management? Interesting reflections shared during this discussion included tackling the challenge caused by the absence of a proper system design from waste collection centre to waste disposal. The discussants emphasized the need for end-to-end design thinking in the waste system. At the end of the discussions, we captured important learnings on how people can get into upscaling or recycling business, making it profitable, green and sustainable. These are captured below: Addressing the issue of coordination - participants agreed that creating a pipeline between the research that is happening at universities on waste to energy and experimenting with them at a municipal level is a good idea that needs to be explored further. Tackling the question of environmental sustainability- participants underlined the need for a stricter legal framework for enforcing waste segregation. This is particularly key in addressing the problem of e inferior quality of paper waste and by composters. Ensuring quality standards - participants stressed that products produced from the process of recycling should be well designed and marketed as lifestyle products. There should be a focus on instilling excellence in all systems and processes, and this can only happen through investing in proper training and quality assurance. In this regard, participants added that understanding what to recycle, when, where and who would use the final item is equally important. Importance of design thinking - participants also stressed the need to have end-to-end design thinking in the waste system that can address the needs of all stakeholders and create opportunities. “We need to move from passion and stories for recycling to proper design thinking and system,” said Mahder who is a founder of the Urban centre. If you are interested in this topic and have any ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear from you through email address. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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30 November 2021
Ethiopia kicks off 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign
The UN in Ethiopia in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia and other stakeholders launched 16 days of activism campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) under the theme “Orange the world- End Violence against women and girls now!”. Speaking at the event, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, called for relentless efforts of all stakeholders to address GBV in Ethiopia. “As we launch the 16 days GBV activism this year, our situation and particularly the context we are in requires a 24/7 approach to address GBV. These days women and girls become the victims of warrying parties,” President Sahle-Work said. “We need to openly speak up loudly, make efforts and systems sustainable in addressing GBV,” added the President. Ms. Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, UN Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, noted that women are more susceptible to sexual and gender-based violence when social structures are eroded by conflict, and they are especially vulnerable during migration and displacement. “Generally, humanitarian emergencies deepen pre-existing gender inequalities, leading to increased discrimination, greater exclusion, and disproportionate risks for women and girls,” Ms. Chiwara said. Despite the multiple roles’ women play everywhere they haven’t received the recognition, the protection, and the services they deserve particularly they are suffering from the threat of GBV every time. “Let peace prevail now end violence against women and girls now,” said H.E. Ergogie Tesfaye, (PhD) Minister of Women and Social Affairs, who also repeated the national theme for this year’s 16 days of activism campaign against GBV. “In the current context of the country, we have been hearing the worst forms of GBV being committed against women and girls with a deep and life-long consequences on their physical, sexual and pyscho-social wellbeing requiring a concerted multisectoral rehabilitation effort,” the Minister said. In her remarks to the official launch, Ms. Sarah Masale, UNFPA Office In Charge, called for addressing digital violence which is devastatingly rampant. “Digital violence takes many forms. Perpetrators may threaten and stalk women online,” she said. “They may, without permission, attach pictures of women’s and girls’ faces to sexualized bodies and share them widely over social media, for years. Vicious online campaigns of hate speech and abuse target women with public roles, such as politicians and journalists as well as women’s rights activists.” Ms Masale also called on all stakeholders to take concrete action to stop digital violence by making relentless efforts to define and measure it as well as understanding its forms, impact and ways to respond to and prevent it. Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is one of the most systematic and widespread violations of human rights globally. It may occur against any woman or girl regardless of nationality, age, or socio-economic status. About 1 in 3 (30 percent) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Nevertheless, stigma and sensitivity around disclosure throughout the world means that VAWG is almost universally under-reported. According to Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (2016), nearly a quarter (23 percent) of women aged 15-49 reported having survived physical violence at some point in their lives, and 10 per cent reported experiencing sexual violence. This year marks 30 years of the annual 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence. Since the Campaign’s launch in 1991 by the Center for Global Women’s Leadership, there has been significant attention to raising the visibility of the various forms of violence faced by women and girls in their diverse identities and throughout the course of their lives. The national event attended by the high-level ministers and H.E. the president also saw the launch of the National Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for shelter services to women and girls’ survivors of violence in Ethiopia. The SoP was supported by UN Women and UNFPA under the leadership of MoWSA. A high-level policy dialogue held under the theme “Experiences and lessons in provision of essential services for women and girls’ survivors of violence” was also part of the opening event. Panellists for the dialogue include H.E Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Federal Supreme Court, H.E Liya Kebede, Minister of Health, H.E Dr. Ergoge Tesfaye, Minister of Women and Social Affairs, H.E Meskerem Gesit, Commissioner for Women and Children’s Rights at the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, H.E Fekadu Tsega, State Minister of Justice and H.E Mr. Jima Dilbo, Director General of the Ethiopia Agency for Civil Society Organisations.
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