Ethiopia has experienced more than 10 years of rapid economic development growth. Nevertheless, it is still among the world’s group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Through its development cooperation, the EU stands by Ethiopia to address its key challenges, such as food insecurity, a rapidly growing population, environmental pressures exacerbated by climate change, a low industrial output, and a range of governance issues.
The majority of EU development funding to Ethiopia is financed by the European Development Fund with the objectives of increasing resilience, accompanying reforms and promoting sustained economic growth.
The cycle of 2014-2020 amounts to €745 million. It focuses on sustainable agriculture and food security, mainly targeting vulnerable population groups, health, to improve the national health system and its access, roads infrastructure, and energy, to increase access and diversify the energy mix. It also finances actions in favour of civil society and strengthening democratic governance.
Under the previous cycle of funding from 2009-2013, the EU dedicated €674 million to programmes in Ethiopia, with a main focus on transport and regional integration, rural development and food security, basic social services and democratic governance. One multi-donor programme project with an EU contribution of €100 million, the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), is the largest programme of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides around 7.5 million vulnerable people with reliable assistance each year (in the form of cash or food), in return for participation in public works. This programme has prevented the re-emergence of large famines in Ethiopia, including during the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa.
Furthermore, Ethiopia is a beneficiary of actions under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular related to building the resilience of vulnerable communities and stemming irregular migration, including support towards new legislation on migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.
Additional support to Ethiopia is channelled through other EU initiatives, in particular the Energy and Water facilities, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, the Global Climate Change Alliance, the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and EU humanitarian assistance. In total, the value of EU development assistance to Ethiopia has averaged an estimated €160 million per year.