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:
06 August 2021
UNIDO Launches the First Creative Hub in Ethiopia to Support Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship
The Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, along with UNIDO Regional Office Hub and the Federal Small and Medium Manufacturing Industry Promotion Authority, have inaugurated the "Creative Hub - Ethiopia". The Hub has been set up within the framework of the UNIDO project “Phase 2 (Extension) of the Technical Assistance Project for the Up-Grading of the Ethiopian Leather and Leather Products Industry”, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). In line with UNIDO mandate to enable everyone to reap the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and support the achievement of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID), the Creative Hub has been designed to foster innovation and economic growth by promoting creativity, digitalization and knowledge sharing. The Hub, located within the premises of the FeSMMIPA in the heart of Addis Ababa, is equipped with advanced machineries and includes co-working areas, laboratories and a Coffee space, or “C-office”. The Hub will provide a wide range of services to designers and innovative entrepreneurs, such as seminars, workshops, trainings, social events, and networking sessions. Moreover, the Hub will offer the possibility to access digital instruments (such as 3D printers for rapid prototyping, laser cutters, a digital library, etc.) and will encourage digital payments with the newly launched “Telebirr”! The Creative Hub will not only be a suitable platform for existing MSMEs as well as new businesses (especially women-owned companies, operators in design, leather, fashion, textile, etc.) to promote product development, sales activities and services, but also a meeting place where they can experiment new solutions and share experiences. The Hub puts creativity at the centre of every decision-making process, as a key to understanding and interpreting the global market and its evolutions. The contribution of the new generations is of paramount importance for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly re-inventing a “new normal”, fostered by the digital transformation and a wider sharing of knowledge and expertise. This activity is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Ethiopia 2020–2025, under the Strategic Priority 3, Prosperity, whereby: The UN will work towards accelerating the transition to a more inclusive and diversified economy, utilizing a “smart response’’ to and recovery from the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 to improve the pace, scale and quality of the change process. At the core of the UN’s focus will be the development of an enabling environment that can attract investments and boost entrepreneurship as well as enterprise/start-up formation and survival, to generate decent and productive jobs at scale for a young and growing population whilst improving social protection.
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14 July 2021
ILO and its tripartite constituents launched a Decent Work Country Program for Ethiopia
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia together with the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union (CETU) and Confederation of Ethiopian Employers Federations (CEEF) colorfully launched the Decent Work Country Program (DWCP, 2021 – 2025) for Ethiopia with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia, COVID 19 projected to cause a drop in real economic growth of about 2.8 % in 2020 and trigger price inflation in the country. Women, youth, migrants and persons with disabilities are likely to bear a disproportionate share of the job losses and other negative effects of COVID-19. The government, employers and workers with the support of the International Labour Organization developed the five years Decent Work Countrywide Program as part of mitigating the impact of COVID 19 in particular and to: improve industrial relations, meet labour standards, and promote investment & employment as well as labour market matching in general in the world of work. Furthermore, the program expected to be instrumental in coordinating efforts to alleviate unemployment, improve workplace safety and health conditions, strengthen equity and the right to organize, social dialogue and tripartism, as well as to extend social protection. “The program was developed with collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, representatives of Employers’ and Workers’ Organizations and the ILO and it is aligned with the United Nations System Development Cooperative Framework (UNSDCF II) for Ethiopia”. Said Mr. Alexio Musindo, ILO Director in Ethiopia. DWCP is multi-sectoral and addresses political, social and economic matters in an integrated approach. “The program is aligned to the National Ten Years Perspective Plan, MOLSA’s Ten Year Sectoral Plan and the strategic priorities of the social partners, as well as the Country’s Priority areas such as; People, Prosperity and, Industrial Relations, Social dialogue and tripartism”. Said H.E Ergogie Tesfaye (PhD) Minister of MoLSA. The DWCP was launched with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding among the ILO and tripartite. The implementation of the program demands joint efforts of the Government, Employers, Workers, and the ILO on one hand and requires the support of bilateral, multilateral and development partners on the other hand.
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05 August 2021
Investing in Crossborder Communities
More than 900 out-of-school youth living in the Ethiopia-Kenya border areas of have developed business plans and will be provided with in-kind support by UNDP following entrepreneurship training organized as part of the cross-border integrated programme implemented by UNDP offices in Kenya and Ethiopia with funding provided by the European Union. Kenya and Ethiopia share a long porous border with largely mobile population and low youth employment rate, and weak investments in social services and infrastructures, making the area vulnerable to conflict over scarce resources. The €3.5 million EU funded cross-border integrated programme focused on promoting sustainable peace and socio-economic transformation. The project has invested in local government institutions, young people, and women to bring them on board as key partners in preventing violence, benefit from economic development across the border, reduce civil discontent and promote lasting inter-communal peace. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the representatives of the two governments and UN Country Teams of Kenya and Ethiopia in June 2017 to target the Borena and Dawa Zones on the Ethiopian side of the border and Marsabit Country on the Kenyan side. The five-year programme specifically aimed to: Improve capacity of local governments for preventing conflict and promoting sustainable peace; Enhance peace and strengthen community resilience to prevent conflict and withstand shocks; and Enhance the efficiency and effective delivery of conflict prevention and peace building activities. In July 2021, stakeholders from both countries met in Bishoftu town, Ethiopia, to reflect on achievements, lessons learned, discuss challenges and commitment on the way forward. Relative peace was able to be maintained in the Moyale area and communities were able to develop local conflict early warning systems for target areas. Peace committees on both sides of the border were also trained to deliver on their mandate, while communities were trained on early warning and improved natural resource management. EU funding for the project ended in July 2021. Read more Blog : Kenya and Ethiopia Cross-Border Initiative: A move towards sustainable peace
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02 August 2021
Life-saving Health Assistance
Lete is one of the more than 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia, which began after the outbreak of violence in the Tigray region in November 2020. When conflict broke out, Lete fled with her three children. r “I walked 90 kilometres from my hometown of Adwa, Central Tigray, with my children. Being pregnant, it was extremely challenging. I was alone with my children, I had to leave my husband behind and we have not seen him since. Halfway through our journey, some people helped us and let us into their car to get to Mekelle,” she says. Lete is one of the hundreds of IDPs receiving medical support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Mobile Health and Nutrition Team, currently working in makeshift displacement sites which were formerly schools. Every day, the team – comprising two health officers, two nurses, two midwives and two counsellors – visits various sites in Mekelle. IOM’s health response According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, over 1.7 million people have been internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia. Health facilities are severely overstretched. Many of those displaced, including women, children, newborn babies, and people living with disabilities are in need of basic necessities such as food and shelter. Added to this, the threat of COVID-19 is increasing fears as many people are living in overcrowded makeshift sites with poor hygiene facilities. The ongoing rainfall may worsen the situation with more displacement due to flooding and increased cases of watery diarrhea and malaria. In response, IOM’s Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams as well as Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Teams are providing medical consultations, basic sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, psychosocial services, screening and referral management for severe malnutrition among children and carrying out health promotion activities including COVID-19 risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) in IDP sites and in some fixed clinics. “Since the beginning of our response, we have supported over 14,400 individuals with medical consultations, screened nearly 4,000 children for malnutrition, out of which more than 4.7 per cent (191) malnutrition cases were identified and referred for management, and also provided MHPSS services to over 12,300 people,” says Carolyne Kipsang, IOM’s Emergency Health Coordinator. “More than 59,000 individuals have been reached with key health messages through health promotion activities and over 1,000 women have received SRH services. IOM is also supporting the Regional Health bureau with preparedness for outbreak and is working to help build the capacity of government health workers through trainings,” she added. Addressing psychosocial distress through MHPSS activities IOM MHPSS services in Mekelle displacement camps started in February 2021 with a focus on psychoeducation, individual and family counselling sessions, psychosocial first aid, unaccompanied children support, family tracing, and mental health referral services. This type of support is critical, both during and after emergencies to provide direct psychosocial support and build local capacity to improve the mental health of individuals and communities. “MHPSS in the camps has assisted displaced people in coping with the current situations. We keep them calm and link them up with various services, including health. In addition, we have had many psychiatric cases among the IDPs, and IOM was able to counsel them, as well as refer them for medical care. Currently, we have 28 unaccompanied children who are being referred to partners for family tracing,” says Eden Solomon, IOM’s MHPSS counsellor. IOM’s health response in northern Ethiopia was made possible thanks to generous support from the Government of Japan. For more information, contact Krizia Kaye Viray, Media and Communications Officer at IOM Ethiopia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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27 July 2021
World Refugee Day 2021: The power of education and a young refugee’s dream of giving back
At the age of three, Amule Nixon Raphael was forced to flee his home in Yei, becoming a refugee for the first, but not last time. To date, he has spent 75 percent of his life in exile, in Uganda as a child and young adult and in the last seven years in Ethiopia. Despite the suffering he has endured from an early age, the 32-year-old South Sudanese refugee says the power of inclusion in education has brought him closer to his dreams. “My learning experience at the public primary school in Uganda is the most memorable of my young school days as it gave me the chance to learn side by side with local children. This was what laid a solid foundation for my education, and this highlights the importance of allowing refugees to go to the same school as their host communities,” Nixon said, as he shared his enthralling story at an event in Addis Ababa, commemorating World Refugee which is marked every year on 20 June. Despite the challenges of life as a refugee, I have worked tirelessly over the years to pursue my academic ambitions and get to where I am today,” he continued. The event in Addis Ababa was co-organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, ARRA, Ethiopia’s Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, as well as JRS and WISE – and it was attended by refugees, partners, donors and other stakeholders engaged in the refugee response in Ethiopia. World Refugee Day was also commemorated in all 24 refugee camps across Ethiopia, with a focus on the need for including refugees in national education systems for the benefit of both communities. From panel discussions to art competitions – and quiz shows to sports and cultural performances – all activities highlighted the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, in line with Goal 4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. With support from UNHCR and other partners, the Government of Ethiopia has been working to improve access to education for refugees and increase refugees’ enrolment in the national education system, as laid out in the country’s 2019 Refugee Proclamation and the Government’s international commitments. UNHCR Representative Ann Encontre took the opportunity to commend the Government for its inclusive policies and encouraging outcomes. She, however, expressed concern that too many refugee children are still out of school and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation. “We all need to come together to do more to ensure that even more refugee children get the chance to realize their potential,” she appealed. Of the more than 800,000 refugees in Ethiopia, 52 percent are school-aged children and youth, of whom only 55 percent are currently in school. For young refugee children, who have fled their homes and lives as they know it, a school can be the first place they start to regain a sense of normalcy and safety. And for young refugees living in harsh conditions, education can provide them with the skills and the hope they need, to build a better future for themselves and their communities, including those hosting them. Like many other refugees, Nixon, who last year graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University in Addis Ababa, sees education as a means for giving back to the communities that helped him while in exile as well as to his home country, when he is able to return safely. “Education not only enriches a refugee’s insight or enables the refugee to see every life situation in a positive dimension, but it also gives the refugee tools, skills and knowledge to work and build a future … After losing everything, education is the only golden goblet that the enemy cannot take away from us,” Nixon quiped. The Ethiopian government also offers scholarships to refugee students to study in Government colleges and universities, preparing them to become self-reliant and to contribute to their communities in line with the Global Compact on Refugees. During the current academic year, approximately 800 young refugees from different refugee camps across the country have successfully passed the national university entrance tests, and are awaiting placement in the different public universities.
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