© Helvetas / Fatoumata Diabate


Many people in Ethiopia suffer from recurrent droughts, and climate change is exacerbating the problem. Helvetas supports them in their efforts to make a living despite the scarcity of water. We are also improving rural infrastructure by building trail bridges and providing vocational training and capacity-building for local authorities.
© Helvetas / Fatoumata Diabate
  • Capital
    Addis Abeba
  • Area
    1,104,300 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    27% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 175 out of 191
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
    Private Sector Development
    Urban Engagement
    Climate & Disaster Resilience
    Vocational Skills Development
    Humanitarian Response
    Rural Access
* Source: UN Data

The Ethiopian government invests heavily in education, and the economy is rapidly developing. But these developments hardly benefit Ethiopian farming families, who are confronted time and again with droughts and famines. Since 2002 Helvetas has been providing hands-on support to relieve their distress.

Support for farmers and nomadic herders

For example, we build cisterns for farming families that store rainwater collected from the rooftops. Farmers also plant drought-tolerant crops on hillsides to reduce erosion – and grow more food. Furthermore, with Helvetas' support, farmers make more varied use of the prickly pear (local name: beles), whose leaves supplement their diet and provide fodder for their animals, and whose fruits can be sold to the capital.

Nomadic herders also suffer from recurrent drought and receive emergency support from Helvetas.

Trail bridges for remote regions

In the mountainous regions of Ethiopia, it often takes people a day or more to walk to the next village or water source. This is a major obstacle to rural development. Trail bridges connect remote settlements to traffic routes. This improves access to schools, markets and hospitals. Ethiopian engineers have been trained in bridge-building by Nepalese experts, who, thanks to a Helvetas project, have many years’ experience in building trail bridges.

More know-how for local authorities

Local authorities are improving their capacity to provide public services. With Helvetas’ know-how, they can plan, build and administer development projects themselves, such as drinking water facilities, irrigation systems and trail bridges.

Helvetas has also been active in vocational training since 2015. Thanks to training courses in tailoring, carpentry, electrical wiring, hairdressing, cooking etc., young adults are improving their income as salaried employees or self-employed tradespersons.

Visit the website of Helvetas Ethiopia.

The country programme in Ethiopia is co-funded by the SDC programme contribution.

Our Projects in Ethiopia

 If you would like to know more about our work in Ethiopia, click on each project for details.

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WASH & Water Governance

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Education and Vocational Skills

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Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

House No. 778
P.O.Box 27507/1000
1000 Addis Abeba

Phone:+ 251-11 467 29 34/35/36
Fax:+ 251-11 467 29 49
E-Mail: helvetas@ethionet.et