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:
17 June 2022
Weeklong activities in Ethiopia to celebrate World Environment Day 2022
World Environment Day (WED), celebrated yearly on 5 June, is the United Nations flagship day to promote worldwide awareness and action towards the environmental agenda in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. In Ethiopia, WED 2022 activities were led by the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA) and supported by UNEP Addis Ababa Liaison Office (UNEP AALO). With this year’s campaign slogan, Only One Earth – focusing on Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature, a range of activities were organised between 3-6 June in both Addis Ababa and Jijiga. An exhibition was launched between 3-6 June at Friendship Park in Addis Ababa, promoting and increasing awareness of interventions in Ethiopia that contribute to environmental sustainability and climate action. It displayed technology, products, services, and initiatives from actors such as the government, national organisations, the private sector and SMEs, to promote dialogue and cooperation between diverse stakeholders and create awareness as well as inspire action among the public. A national conference was organized alongside the exhibition, including a set of panel discussions in Addis Ababa, with parallel sessions held in Jijiga. Keynote speakers from government, international and national organisations, academia, and national media were represented – discussing topics including Early Warning Systems and Mitigation Measures in Ethiopia; the role of CSOs, media, women and youth in environmental protection and management in Ethiopia; and the social and economic importance of forests. At the national conference session in Addis Ababa, a keynote speech delivered by a.i. Head of UNEP Addis Ababa Office, Dr. Margaret Oduk, set the tone for the day – highlighting the urgency of the triple planetary crisis, and that the progress Ethiopia has made in this field needs to not only be maintained and scaled-up, but ultimately become the basis for interventions and policy for years to come. The sessions of the conference held in Jijiga included two panel discussions, a World Environment Day Marathon, tree planting and waste picking. The activities were kicked off by H.E Frenesh Mekuria, Deuputy Director General at the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, highlighting the climate and environmental challenges Ethiopia face and urging everyone to contribute to restoring and protecting nature.
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31 May 2022
Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons
Nimu Mohammed, 45, and a mother of nine children, was forced to displace to Kebrebeyeh District, Somali Region, as the effects of the severe drought in the region continued unabated. Nimu lost her entire livestock and had left with no other livelihood options when her village did not get rain that was essential for her livestock and members of the communities like Nimu. “After losing all my livelihoods, I decided to leave my village (Shekoys District) with my three younger children, leaving behind other six. Members of the community in Kebrebeyeh welcomed us. They are also sharing with us what they have. However, the challenges of the drought are beyond the capacity of our host community. We need food, water and other essential supplies immediately. We also want to have long-term solutions. We don’t want to live like this.” Another internally displaced woman, Dalbile Mohammud, who took a shelter in Gabicas IDPs. Dalbile,50 years, a mother of three, didn’t know what the future holds for her and her families. “We are struggling here with all sorts of challenges, including inadequate supplies of food and non-food items”. While Dalbile and other IDPs in the Gabicas IDPs site are heavily impacted by the drought, they are also in dilemma to welcome the rain, fearing flash floods that will do more harm. “We need the rain to go back to our homes, but heavy rain is also our concern. These temporary shelters can’t protect us from heavy rains or floods.” In Somali Region, drought has significantly increased humanitarian needs and has led to a growing number of internally displaced people in addition to those impacted by the previous conflicts in the region. Prior to the drought, draft data from IOM DTM indicated over 870,000 protracted IDPs living in the region. After being forced to leave their homes due to drought or conflict, many people like Nimu, Dalbile and hundreds of thousands of people in the Somali Region have found themselves in a difficult situation that needs durable solutions. While addressing the immediate needs of IDPs and vulnerable host communities, the Somali Region and the UN as well as donors and partners have sought long-term solutions to the multi-faced challenges of IDPs. The efforts led to the development of a three-year durable solutions strategy that will help tackle the adverse impact of internal displacement in a sustainable manner. The strategy aims to reach more than 100,500 households and 603,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area. Led by the regional government, which has committed to including durable solutions activities in its budget, and supported by the UN, the strategy which was launched 24 May was welcomed by donors. Among others, Ambassadors of Finland, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland, Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic, and representatives of the European Union and USAID, attended the launching ceremony. According to the displacement tracking matrix of the International Organization for Migration, currently, Ethiopia has one of the highest numbers of IDPs globally – 4.5 million persons with close to 1 million in Somali, the largest number displaced in a single region in the country. The strategy will support the IDPs to sustainably rebuild their lives. The IDP representative, Tarik Dullane, Head of Qoloji IDPs Women’s Committee, stressed that to restart their lives in dignity, they needed durable solutions. “Humanitarian assistance is not an option,” she said. Meanwhile, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Dr. Catherine Sozi, explained that successful implementation would be achieved if internal displacement was also recognized as a priority for development and peace. ““This is achievable if we go beyond treating internal displacement as just a humanitarian problem and recognize it as a priority for development and peace.” “Intervention in support of durable solutions need to address governance, infrastructure, social cohesion, security, and risk reduction components. They are all are essential for achieving solutions at scale and for supporting the achievement of the sustainable development goals,” Dr. Sozi said. In his opening statement at the launch of the strategy, President of Somali Regional State of Ethiopia, Mr. Mustafe M. Omer, said, "The strategy will serve as an instrument to advance durable solutions to both conflict and climate-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as vulnerable host community members." Support of international Partners International partners were very supportive of the Somali Region Durable Solutions Strategy. Ms. Tamara Mona, Ambassador of Switzerland to Ethiopia, noted that the Somali Region Durable Solutions Strategy is a step forward in the development of holistic, whole-of-government, and whole-of-society approach in finding dignified and sustainable solutions for IDPs. Mr. Stefan Auer, Ambassador of Germany to Ethiopia, commended Somali Region for developing a durable solutions strategy and expressed Germany’s interest to strengthen sustainable solutions in the humanitarian-peace-development nexus. Ms. Takako Ito, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, expressed support for the Somali Region Durable Solutions Strategy and underscored the importance of transitioning from humanitarian to development to save the lives of people. Mr. Hans Henric Lundquist, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia, noted that informed and voluntary return, relocation and local integration as well as support for households to make individual decisions are crucial for achieving durable solutions for Internally Displacement Persons. Ms. Outi Holopainen, Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia, underlined the need to ensure the most vulnerable including women and children and people with disability are at the center when implementing the durable solution strategy for Somali Region. Ms. Sarah Berry, representing USAID Ethiopia, commended the Somali Region for developing the strategy that embraces the principles of dignified, safe and voluntary solutions for internally displaced persons. Ms. Sarah Buzzoni, representing the European Union in Ethiopia, expressed support to the durable solutions strategy for Somali Region, as the region has been facing drought and other natural disasters.
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11 April 2022
UNIDO, Government Representatives Visit Bure Integrated Agro-Industrial Park
Ms. Aurelia P. Calabrò, UNIDO Representative and Director of the Regional Hub, Ms. Semereta Sewasew , State Minister for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance and other senior Ethiopia government officials from different sectors visited the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park (IAIP) in Bure, West Gojam, Amhara Regional State. The visiting team also interacted with regional stakeholders on the conducive business environment being created and challenges that require policy and administrative support at the Federal level. The Bure IAIP occupies an area of 1000 ha including three provinces in West Gojam, East Gojam, and Awi. Out of 1000 ha, 160 ha have been developed. The team noted that the major facilities have been completed with the exception of the power sub-station (only 29%) that is a work to be carried out by the Federal Government. Similarly, the wastewater treatment plant is almost completed (95% civil works finalized) and the mechanical equipment procured and being manufactured. The plant is expected to be finalized by June/July. A total of 500,000 people are expected to benefit directly or indirectly from the Bure IAIP. This also includes 200,000 farmers and 28,000 workers at factory level. Challenges facing the Bure IAIP include sustainable supply of raw materials, attraction of anchor investors and financial capacity (access to finance), among others. At the end of the field visit, it was decided that the project team would come up with a comprehensive report, indicating lessons learned and measures that need to be taken at the Federal and Regional levels, development partners and all stakeholders to address the issues identified during the mission.
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25 April 2022
Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team visits Metekel Zone of Benishangul Region to see humanitarian situation, response
The Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team (EHCT) led by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Catherine Sozi, conducted a field visit to Metekel Zone of Benishangul Gumuz region from 20-21 April 2022. The team interacted with people displaced by the ongoing violence in the region, local authorities and partners to understand the humanitarian situation in the region. The violence in the region has displaced approximately 411,014 people, of whom, 65 per cent (266,000 IDPs) are in Metekel Zone. At least 12,000 houses, 142 schools, 107 health posts and 183 animal health posts have been damaged. Up to 660 water schemes out of the 1,494 in the zone are non-functional. The security situation in the Zone remains tense and volatile – significantly restricting humanitarian access to hard-to-reach areas with the most critical needs. The Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team saw firsthand the dire situation that requires additional resources to deliver critical humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, water and sanitation of the affected population and ensure the IDPs are protected. In conversations with the Ethiopian Humanitarian Country Team, the internally displaced persons reiterated their interest to return to their homes and revive their livelihoods if peace is restored and their security is not at risk. “The situation is very sobering,” Dr. Sozi said. “The humanitarian response should be beefed up to ensure internally displaced people live a dignified life until they return to their homes”. The team also visited Pawe hospital in Metekel Zone and discussed with officials and staff of the hospital. The United Nations continues to work with partners on the ground to support the affected communities and to complement the response made by national and local authorities to this dire situation.
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25 April 2022
‘This is the worst drought in forty years’: Millions of Ethiopians at risk from failed rains
As a result of the drought, Zeineba, 60, was forced into the most difficult decision of her life: to leave her neighborhood behind and move to another village, to save her life and that of her family. “My livestock perished from lack of water and pasture, and could not survive the harsh drought anymore. It is painful,” she lamented. In Somali Region, as in other pastoral areas, livestock are an essential means of survival for the large majority of people, and key to generating income in local markets. Millions like Zeineba have lost their livelihoods, and been forced to move to places where they can receive humanitarian assistance from local people, government or humanitarian organizations. As the situation worsened in her village, Zeineba started out on foot with her seven children. It took them seven days to reach Higlo humanitarian site for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). ‘The situation is dire’ “This is the worst drought in forty years,” says President of Somali Region, Mustafe Mohammed Omer. “The government responded on time to the immediate impact of the drought by providing humanitarian assistance. We will also continue to work assiduously to mitigate the effect of the drought on the people.” “But the situation is dire”, continues Mr. Omar. “Responding to the increasing needs requires huge resources. Putting all the resources of the region to the drought response will also derail ongoing large-scale development initiatives that have long-term and transformative effects for our communities”. According to a recent update on the drought issued by Mr. Omar’s office, an estimated one million livestock have also died across 10 drought-affected zones in Somali Region. Livestock across the region are in poor health, and many more are expected to perish from increases in disease during the upcoming rainy season. Vaccination campaigns and livestock feed to save the core breeding stock are urgently needed. Preparing for droughts and floods Meanwhile, the United Nations, along with partners on the ground, is supporting affected families with food, water, nutrition, shelter, and other non-food needs. “Preparations to enable and support a timely response to the ongoing dire humanitarian situation, build resilience, and adapt to the climate crisis are critical for alleviating the impact of the drought on millions of people in the region”, says Catherine Sozi, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia. Flooding could occur during the coming rainy season, which will require a coordinated response and immense resources to protect the communities already being severely impacted by the drought. Fresh funding is urgently needed to address the growing needs of the affected population, including internally displaced persons and the host community. The UN is supporting longer-term government and community efforts to help communities to be better prepared to cope with droughts and other risks in the future, and is working to improve coordination between all humanitarian bodies in the region. On Tuesday, Martin Griffiths, the UN head of humanitarian affairs, will take part in a high-level roundtable on the drought in the Horn of Africa.‘This is the worst drought in forty years’: Millions of Ethiopians at risk from failed rains ‘This is the worst drought in forty years’: Millions of Ethiopians at risk from failed rains
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