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US launches $60m highland resilience activity to help 120,000 vulnerable households in Ethiopia

Addis Abeba – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the ‘Feed the Future Ethiopia Highlands Resilience Activity’, a $60 million initiative aimed at connecting 120,000 vulnerable households to markets and financial resources to improve their livelihoods.

Many of the beneficiaries are graduates of the Ethiopia Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), a multi-billion-dollar food security, public works, and social welfare program launched in 2005 to help millions across Ethiopia with support from the US government.

Over the next five years, the Highlands Resilience Activity will be led by Mercy Corps, with support from five local NGOs and two technical partners, the activity will operate in six regions: Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, Sidama, South, and Central Ethiopia, according to a statement from the US embassy in Addis Abeba.

Speaking at the launch event, Amber Lily Kenny, the Director of USAID’s Economic Growth and Resilience Office, stated, “USAID is happy to support households to withstand unexpected setbacks and achieve food security and independence from support programs. We believe the Highlands Resilience Activity will help many Ethiopians by providing different ways for families to earn a living, benefit from trade, and offer financial help.”

The Highlands Resilience Activity will be implemented in 36 woredas where Ethiopia’s PSNP already operates. “Together, the programs will reduce extreme poverty and enhance resilience to shocks for extremely poor and vulnerable rural households”, the statement said.

In 2021, additional $2.2 billion investment was launched by international partners to support nine million people each year under the PSNP. AS

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