Where We Work

Introduction to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa, known as a vibrant melting pot with over 80 different ethnic groups comprising its 117 million inhabitants. Beyond its well known identity as a multiethnic state with diverse cultures and languages, Ethiopia is famous for its stunning scenery, world-renowned coffee, and 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

As the second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia has the potential to develop into a strong agricultural and industrial economy, potentially lifting a third of the population who live on less than $2.35 CAD a day out of poverty. 

For the majority farming population however, recurring droughts and intercommunal violence are critically continuing to threaten livelihoods, making daily survival ever more difficult. 

Poor rainfall, locust infestation, insufficient supplies of safe water and a lack of food in Ethiopia mean that the young, elderly and displaced populations become malnourished and risk catching water-borne diseases. 

As a result of these conditions, pastoralist communities’ herds are reducing, economic capital is weakening in strength and number, there’s growing intercommunal conflict in notably the Tigray region, and an increase in household poverty overall.

Why do the people of Ethiopia need your support?

For people across Ethiopia, life is incredibly challenging:

  • 8.5 million Ethiopians require emergency food assistance (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, 2020) 

  • Almost 30% of the population are living in poverty (UNDP, 2019)

  • 101,000 Ethiopians have been displaced due to intercommunal violence with over 45,000 fleeing to Sudan (United Nations, 2021

Islamic Relief in Ethiopia

Islamic Relief first started its work in Ethiopia to provide critical relief during severe droughts in 2000, 2001 and 2002, before opening a permanent office in 2004. Ever since, we have had an operational presence in the Afar, Oromia, Addis Ababa and Somali regions. 

Islamic Relief Canada has helped 101,012 individuals in Ethiopia through various sectors; including livelihood, WASH, health, and seasonal Qurbani programs. In addition, Islamic Relief seeks to promote peacebuilding, and increase access to basic services particularly for women and youth. 

Currently, our two projects in Ethiopia are aiming to improve economic security and resilience of vulnerable pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities, the nutritional status of children, pregnant and lactating women, and increase access to safe water. 

As part of our emergency nutrition and WASH response in the drought-affected district of Dekasoftu, health professionals and caregivers are being trained on how to identify malnutrition and provide treatment. The greater community is also receiving water trucking and awareness campaigns on best hygiene practices. 

In the Elkare and Chereti districts, our livelihood project includes developing water schemes and irrigation facilities, supporting agricultural production through livestock and farming, training community animal health workers, providing livestock vaccination and treatment, while offering diversified livelihood opportunities. 

By helping vulnerable communities improve their economic security and resilience while offering livelihood support, we work with communities to empower their involvement in decision making spaces while providing emergency assistance in the face of crises.

Your donations in action

Islamic Relief Canada has helped 3,000 vulnerable women and youth and reached 9,696 individuals impacted by the Tigray crisis through our 2021 projects. The primary goal of the Mieso Economic Security & Resilience Building Project for Poor Women & Youth was to increase economic and livelihood opportunities. One way this was achieved was through the recruitment of single unemployed youth from the Mieso district into a livestock farming cooperative. 

The cooperative served to create jobs and income opportunities for unemployed youth. This opportunity provided them with a steady income so they can financially support themselves and their families. 

“Thanks to Islamic Relief for coming to our life at a time where we had been seriously worried about how to cover the needs of our families. Now we can cover these needs, save and invest funds to purchase additional bulls and diversify our business so it can grow.”

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