Cooperation with Ethiopia
The current financial commitment of the Italian Cooperation in Ethiopia, regulated by the ongoing Country Programme, amounts to 49.3 million Euros over three years: 2009, 2010, 2011. OECD DAC disbursements data place us (2010) on the thirteenth place among donor countries.
Despite having limited funds the activity of the Italian Cooperation in Ethiopia is based on criteria of quality and effectiveness of aid:
1) It is regulated by a three-year country program that allows to plan resources and policies ahead
2) It makes extensive use of country systems and multi-donor funds
3) It enhances and supports the presence of Italian NGOs
4) It takes part of all the main donor coordination fora (DAG and sectoral Working Groups) and participates in developing and implementing a common EU strategy (Joint Programming).
Education (24 million*)
Strengthening of primary, vocational / technical-professional and higher education systems are the main components of the Italian Cooperation’s activity in the education sector. Key importance was given to the technical and vocational system with the rehabilitation and equipping of four reference institutions of the country. The Italian Cooperation also contributes, along with the World Bank, to DFID, the Netherlands and Finland, to the Fund for the General Education Quality Improvement (GEQIP).
Infrastructure - Water and Energy (10 million grant + 220 million Euros soft loans*)
In the water sector, Italy intervenes both at urban level, supplying water in 5 cities located in the 4 major regions of the country, and at rural level, in 5 districts of the Oromia region. Italy also contributes, through UNICEF, to a program for the specific sectors capacity building of regions and districts. Although now it is completed, it’s interesting to highlight the primary role of the Italian financing to the construction of Gilgel Gibe II hydroelectric plant. With a production capacity of 420 MW, the plant covers a fifth of the country's electricity production.
Health (20 million*)
In addition to being the third largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia and participate in the common fund for the procurement of essential goods (MDG Fund), Italy, through its technical assistance, has taken a leadership role in the development of the National Health Information System.
Rural Development (9 million*)
Within the agricultural sector, in the Arsi Bale region, where in the past years Italy promoted an outstanding rural development program, the Italian Cooperation is now intervening, together with the Overseas Agricultural Institute (IAO), to strengthen two traditional crops’ value chains – durum wheat and wild coffee - the latter in partnership with Slow Food. A new initiative, carried out by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (IAM) of Bari, aims at strengthening the local agricultural extension services in Amara and Oromia to support the activities of fruit and vegetable smallholders. In the same sector FAO, thank to two Italian contributions, is carrying out two projects in Oromia, Tigray and Amhara for supporting small scale farmers.
Humanitarian Emergency (1.8 million* )
In order to respond to the humanitarian crisis that has affected a wide area of the country, a 1.3 million Euros post-emergency program has recently been launched, promoting Italian NGO interventions for risk prevention in the water and health sectors. Furthermore 500,000 euro were granted to the HRF - Humanitarian Response Fund through OCHA.
Gender (1.25 million*)
The Italian Cooperation participates in the gender sector through two voluntary contributions: respectively to ILO (650,000 Euros) and UNESCO (500,000 USD), the first one being a pilot project aimed at the training of women prisoners and the creation of female inmates cooperatives in Makallè prison, while the second is aimed at facilitating the completion of the secondary education cycle by young girls. Italy also contributes with 100,000 Euros to the ‘Gender Pooled Fund’ coordinated by UNDP.
2012-2014 Country Programme
The new Country Programme 2012-2014, under formulation, will be in line with the Ethiopian Government’s Growth and Transformation Plan - GTP and closely coordinated with the European Union action (Joint Programming). The reduction of available financial resources has been overcome by proposing to the Ethiopian Government a cooperation program based on soft loans, under particularly favourable conditions. In this way, the Italian Cooperation will maintain its role and technical presence or even increase the financial resources available (at least 65 million against the previous 49.3). In the wake of recent developments and the Italian commitment to the "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition" launched at the G8 summit at Camp David on May 18, the new country program will commit approximately 40 million Euros to the development of the agricultural sector, with a particular focus on smallholders, strengthening of value chains and creation of a favourable environment for private investments. The intervention will be supported by a financial facility whose beneficiaries will be small and medium farmers and which will also include measures concerning water for agricultural use. The program will contribute to the formulation and implementation process of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), promoted by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union. In addition, part of the funds will be used for initiatives aimed at strengthening food security and reducing vulnerability of agro-pastoral areas (in Oromia, Afar and Somali), regularly exposed to climate shocks. Private sector (financial services to the SMEs), WASH, Health and education will also be sectors of interest. Alongside the Country Programme, we are currently negotiating the new Framework Agreement to regulate the presence and action of the Italian Cooperation in the country.
* These figures are higher than the ones indicated in the country program as they include amounts concerning initiatives that have been ongoing in the period 2009-2011 despite having been initiated during the previous country framework due to previous political commitment. They also include additional voluntary contributions to international organizations intended for Ethiopia, the contributions to the projects promoted by NGOs and emergency operations that are normally not included in the Country Programme.