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July 25, 2024
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Ethiopia Unveils $300 Million Plan to Boost Rural Connectivity for Food Security

New $300 million program targets rural Ethiopia, aiming to improve connections and market access for more than 11 million people.

The World Bank is rolling out the programme through the grant from its International Development Association (IDA), which is poised to support the country enhance climate-resilient physical and digital access to food markets and services in rural areas as well as strengthen roads asset management.

Some 11,3 million people, 50 percent of them women, are to benefit.

“This programme represents our deep commitment to boosting Ethiopia’s rural economy,” Ousmane Dione, World Bank Group Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, said in Addis Ababa late Monday.

“It will strive to create climate-resilient rural connectivity that supports market access and essential services, fosters job opportunities, encourages social inclusion, and assist in meeting the economic aspirations of rural communities in Ethiopia.”

The Ethiopia Rural Connectivity for Food Security Programme aims to support the enhancement of climate resilience and to improve all-season connectivity of rural roads and bridges across all 13 regions.

Additionally, digital connectivity facilitated by e-market platforms within the programme aims to enhance linkages between market actors and promote efficient contract farming management.

Nearly 80 percent of Ethiopia’s total population (estimated at over 128 million) resides in rural areas.

There, livelihoods are increasingly vulnerable due to climate change and instability in the Horn of Africa nation.

The connectivity to climate-resilient rural roads and bridges is limited, impacting market access and contributing to food insecurity for over 20 million people, alongside rising levels of under-nutrition.

Source: CAJ

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