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USAID Supports the Most Vulnerable with $60 Million Safety Net Program

USAID Office Director Lily Kenney, Sidama government officials, Mercy Corps staff and other implementing partners gathered in Hawassa to launch the $60 million Highlands Resilience Activity, Hawassa, April 11, 2024. (Courtesy of U.S. Embassy)

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa 

Hawassa, April 15, 2024 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officially launched the Feed the Future Ethiopia Highlands Resilience Activity, a USD $60 million initiative. Building on USAID’s longstanding investments in Ethiopia’s highlands, the program will connect 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).

Over the next five years (2023-2028), 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.

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 Productive Safety Net Program already operates. Together, the programs will reduce extreme poverty and enhance resilience to shocks for extremely poor and vulnerable rural households.

For 120 years, the United States and Ethiopia have partnered in health and education, agriculture and food security, science and the environment, and many other areas to improve the lives of all Ethiopians. 


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