In 2016, Ethiopia experienced its most serious internal political unrest since 1991. Mass protests took place and were often suppressed by the government. Foreign businesses, including Dutch companies, were also attacked. The announcement of a state of emergency in October gave the government far-reaching powers to restore order. The Netherlands has responded by intensifying the dialogue with the Ethiopian government. Where possible, the embassy assists the government in addressing the root causes of the unrest, such as lack of good governance and youth unemployment. Ethiopia’s persistent food insecurity (last year saw the worst drought in 50 years) and the related high population pressure remain key challenges. The effective government response, aided by the international community, has prevented famine. Youth unemployment may also result in further emigration. The government is now prioritising job creation. The embassy is looking for ways to support these efforts and is merging development co-operation with economic diplomacy, most prominently in the agriculture sector. This combination fits in well with the Ethiopian commitment to transform the country and achieve inclusive growth and poverty reduction, within which a path towards accelerated economic and social development is outlined.

Featured project

SRHR/HIV-Aids in Ethiopia

Between 1990 and 2012, Ethiopia reduced the mortality rate among under-fives from 205 to 68 per 1000 live births, ahead of the MDG target that many countries failed to reach by 2015. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (maternal deaths/100,000 births) dropped from 1,400 in 1990 to 412 in 2016. This was achieved by investing heavily in people (Health Extension Workers) and Community-Based Primary Health Care.

Key results of the embassy in Ethiopia

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Total number of farmers reached directly with better technologies, improved inputs and outputs, and increased productivity and income.

474,000 On track
Total number of farmers reached directly
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

In 2016, the embassy has given financial support to the government’s national Agricultural Growth Programme (AGP). More importantly, it assists the AGP by validating and sharing good farming practices, improving seed multiplication and supply, and supporting capacity development for small-scale irrigation to boost sustainable and inclusive growth in the agricultural sector.

Number of people with improved food intake

60,400 On track
Number of people reached
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The score reflects the Dutch contribution in 2016 to reducing hunger and malnutrition, which has been realised through support to the government’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). PSNP has protected its clients against the El Niño drought-induced food crisis in 2015 and 2016. Its efforts to strengthen the livelihoods of its clients, the second objective of the programme, have had limited success, so far. The embassy therefore intends to assist PSNP technically in improving agricultural livelihoods through its bilateral projects, in a way similar to its assistance to the Agricultural Growth Programme.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Indicator Score Progress

Number of franchise clinics providing SRHR services

863 Progress, not on track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The number of franchise clinics providing SRHR services, supported by the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) and Marie Stopes International Ethiopia (MSIE), decreased from 931 in 2015 to 863 in 2016. MSIE has disenfranchised clinics that did not comply with quality standards. Franchised clinics are important to promote and enhance the involvement of the private for profit sector in providing essential health services.

Number of couples protected by various contraceptives over a one-year period - Couple Year Protection (CYP)

7.4 million On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Couple Year Protection (CYP), an estimate of the protection from pregnancy provided by contraceptive methods during a one-year period, increased by nearly 50% to 7.4 million in 2016, through embassy-supported programmes. All of our partners (MSIE, DKT & FGAE) contributed to this increase, but DKT showed the greatest progress from 3.6 to 5.9 million CYPs. This means that Dutch funding is increasingly contributing to family planning in Ethiopia and thus to the empowerment of girls and women to influence whether and when they want to become pregnant. This will also contribute to lower fertility rates.

Women's Rights & Gender Equality

Indicator Score Progress

Number of embassy projects with specific gender and women power criteria included

9 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

To strengthen the contribution of development interventions to gender equality and the empowerment of women, the embassy built its personnel capacity in 2016 to mainstream gender. Moreover, through the analysis and assessment of its existing portfolio, the embassy has worked progressively to enhance development interventions' contribution to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Security & Rule of Law

Indicator Score Progress

Number of professionals trained to contribute to human security

299 On track
Number of professionals trained
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The embassy supports the NGO Justice for All to train prison staff, police and militia in human rights (among other activities). This provides the government with the know-how to protect human rights, in order to foster the confidence of the people in the country's judicial and security system.

Number of higher cadre of Oromia regional government enrolled in the leadership training provided by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)

5 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

At the request of the OPDO leadership (the ruling party in Oromia), where most of the political turmoil took place and where most of the Dutch investments in Ethiopia are located, several of its higher cadres, including the regional president and the Speaker of parliament, were enrolled in leadership and conflict resolution training by the NIMD in 2016. The training supports the OPDO government's commitment to reform and builds its capacity to realise the reforms to which it is committed. This will increase citizens' trust in their regional government and thus contribute to peace and stability in the region. At the same time, it will restore the attractiveness of the Oromia region for Dutch investments.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

Food and nutrition security
While agricultural transformation is gradually taking place in areas with agricultural potential and among farmers with more resources, the livelihoods of poor rural households living in degraded and drought-prone areas remain weak.

Results have been better than expected for SRHR and HIV/AIDS, although the results of the Demographic Health Survey 2016 have not yet been published. In general, the Ethiopian population continues to benefit from investments made in Primary Health Care over the past 15 years.

Rule of Law
Activities proceeded as well as could be expected, considering the political turmoil that led to a state of emergency. Given the unrest and its underlying causes, the embassy increased its interest in activities in the area of political governance.

Glimpse into the future

Food and nutrition security
The embassy’s support for agricultural transformation in areas with higher production potential needs to be maintained. However, more focus is needed on marginal areas and poor households and their resilience. In order to improve livelihoods, in 2017 measures will be proposed on how to strengthen the PSNP (Productive Safety Net Programme) and how to mobilise aid and trade for employment. Job creation is paramount, also for the sake of the country's stability.

In relation to SRHR/HIV-Aids, it is important to increase infrastructural investments, to attract private capital and strengthen referral services within the health system.

Assessments show that contributing to gender equality and challenging existing norms (through development interventions) is essential for sustainable development in the country. Within the embassy programmes, more emphasis is needed on gender analysis and impact assessment of the supported interventions on gender equality. The target for 2017 is for this to be incorporated in at least 15 projects.

Rule of Law Rule
Rule of Law Rule of Law remains critical for the stability of Ethiopia, as well as for Dutch investments. Activities will continue with a stronger emphasis on political governance.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 57,221,561

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel