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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 25 November 2013

New EU projects on access to health, education and other services for the Ethiopian people

New financial assistance for projects that will, among other things, help to ensure basic services such as primary schools, health care and water supply, and to support female entrepreneurs, has today been announced. New support will also help Ethiopians better prepare for the recurring droughts that hit the country, helping them to withstand the next crisis. A total of eight new agreements of an overall amount of almost €240 million have been announced during a visit by the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs commented: “This support will boost Ethiopia’s efforts to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. Our cooperation has already had good results and changed many people’s lives for the better; together we will build on this, continuing to reduce poverty and foster sustainable growth. Strengthening the resilience of the population to future droughts and the economic shocks that result from them is also essential in Ethiopia”.

Through one of the projects, EU assistance will contribute to drastically reducing the number of mothers who die around the time of giving birth. Some of the activities include giving equipment and supplies to hospitals and health centres, and training of health care professionals.

The EU has already been working in recent years in improving access to basic services with quite some achievements. The number of people below the poverty line has been reduced by one third, there has also been an increase of primary school enrolment from 68 to 85% and significantly improved access to drinking water: the share of Ethiopians with access to potable water has risen from 52% in 2006 to almost 80% in 2011. The objective of the new project signed today is to expand even further access to these services, while improving its quality.

But other challenges remain. Ethiopia is faced with recurrent droughts; the last one occurred in 2011. One of the programmes will strengthen people’s ability to withstand such shocks by, among other things, helping fight animal diseases in the drylands of Ethiopia, improving nutrition among groups who are at risk of hunger and also by investing in better water management.


Today’s agreements are financed from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), one of the financial instruments to channel development aid. They have been announced in the context of the visit of Commissioner Piebalgs to the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, which takes place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). This consultative body for parliamentary debates, which meets twice a year, was established by the so-called Cotonou Agreement, which defines the framework for the EU's relations with the 79 ACP countries.

Overview table of projects

Project name and description

(Million EUR)

Roads Sector Policy Support Programme: it will help the Ethiopian government with the road network's expansion and maintenance, to increase access to markets and create economic activity


Trade Enhancement and Facilitation Programme: it will help Ethiopia in the accession process to the World Trade Organisation and lead to more effective customs.


Promoting Basic Services: it will help to increase access to education and health, among other services, and increase their quality.


Enhancing Skilled Delivery in Ethiopia: it will help to improve maternal health.


Women’s Breakthrough Project: it will train 3,000 emerging women entrepreneurs, giving them access to coaching and loans.


Civil Society Project: it will help increase the role of civil society organisations in governance and development activities.


Technical Cooperation Facility: it will identify the projects to be funded under the 11th EDF with the aim of improving aid effectiveness.


Advancing Resilience Capacities in Ethiopia: it will help to strengthen people’s ability to withstand recurrent drought and other shocks


For further information

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

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