Located in East Africa, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and in the world. Ethiopia's economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for 46% of GDP and 85% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from poor cultivation practices and frequent drought, but recent joint efforts by the Government of Ethiopia and supporters have strengthened Ethiopia's agricultural resilience, contributing to a reduction in the number of Ethiopians threatened with starvation. The banking, insurance, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted significant foreign investment in textiles, leather, commercial agriculture and manufacturing. While GDP growth has remained high, with two digit growth for 7 years continuously, per capita income is still among the lowest in the world. Ethiopia's economy sustains on large investment in infrastructure as a basis for the country’s development and implements the five year ‘Growth and Transformation Plan’ under its new leadership after Prime Minister Mele's passing.
THP-Ethiopia, established in 2004, is committed to empowering the rural communities of Ethiopia to create lasting society-wide progress in order to achieve a sustainable end of hunger and poverty. THP-Ethiopia has been implementing six epicenters in 22 villages of five districts in Oromiya, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region and Amhara regional states.
Increasing Food Security
Regarding food security activities, THP-Ethiopia promotes a holistic approach where by many of its activities contribute to increased access to sufficient food, improved diets, greater nutritional variety and stronger ties to local resources. To ensure food security among partners THP-Ethiopia supports activities like epicenter farming, food banks, food bank supplements (agricultural input revolving fund); increasing household production; input supply, training, demonstration/trial. In collaboration with the Epicenter Committee and the local Agricultural and Rural Development Office, THP-Ethiopia established forest nursery, seedlings forestation and soil and water conservation activities.
Improving Health and Hygiene
Epicenter health centers provide primary health care for all, especially mothers, and immunizations for children. They also teach men and women how to improve their health and hygiene.
The Hunger Project-Ethiopia has pioneered a sanitation program through the implementation of pit latrines in each household in the Epicenter community.
In cooperation with the District Health Office and District Office of Women's Affairs, The Hunger Project-Ethiopia provides training to partners regarding gender equality, harmful traditional practices, traditional birth attendants training, family planning and HIV/AIDS awareness workshops.
Certified Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) are established within each epicenter and managed by the community with majority of beneficiaries being women. Today more than six million birr is disbursed as loan to clients with 67% women beneficiaries to more than 3,660 people.
Continuous trainings are sensitizing partners on the importance and benefits of saving as key factor in breaking out of poverty. The credit provides partners with the capital to realize their business aspirations and to generate income through livestock, petty trade and agriculture respectively.