One of the major factors contributing to whether or not the Ethiopians will have enough food to feed their families is the weather. Ethiopia, a landlocked country detached from the sea by Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea, holds a population of over 96 million, most of them relying on rain-fed agriculture such as livestock and crops to sustain their basic needs for survival, including food and income.
With the unpredictable weather patterns in the country, most people, especially the government, are continuously looking for ways to build resilience and help millions of families gain easier access to food and a stable income. They are searching for ways to survive unpredictable emergencies such as the hunger crisis that happened in 2011, impacting Ethiopia as well as several other countries in the region.
Ending Food Insecurity in Ethiopia
The only instant response to food shortage in the country for over 30 years has been food aid. However, 10 years ago, a food security program was launched by the government as a means of resolving issues related to food insecurity. The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a major part of a social protection program under the administration of the Ethiopian government. It has the support of the World Bank as well as numerous development partners.
The program offers support to communities, especially those in the rural areas, in rehabilitating the natural environment through effective water and soil conservation, and building vital community infrastructure, including schools, clinics, and roads. The program does more than just provide food to those who experience poverty; it actually helps revive communities.
35 million Ethiopians are subjected to abject poverty.
With the help of the program, many Ethiopians, especially those in rural areas, have been able to revive their supply of groundwater, which is enough to help their communities develop better public works programs and livelihood-based projects. These include improved management of livestock, better land reclamation, and small-scale irrigation solutions both for generating income and producing food. The result is a significant increase in cultivable land in rural areas, which has improved livelihood and supported and promoted higher crop yields.
There is still poverty and food insecurity in the country, however, and drought continues to be a very real threat to the short- and long-term survival of the Ethiopian people. We continue working toward giving people the food security they deserve.