The European Union, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is set to support Ethiopia with a USD 32.4 million fund. The fund is intended to provide support to rural organisations that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the major avenues of support that the fund is going to provide is debt relief and the protection of jobs.
According to IFAD, the pandemic has reduced agricultural labor, limited access to production capital, reduced production, and obstructed access to markets and financial services. This in turn has led to the loss of employment.
Reports also confirm that these effects are compounded for women due to increased social responsibilities related to providing care.
The fund is going to be dispersed as part of the government’s Rural Financial Intermediation Program III to medium and small scale financial enterprises through rural financial institutions. The Development Bank of Ethiopia will receive the funds; USD 16.9 million from IFAD and USD 15.5 million from the European Union.
Dominique Davoux, the Green Deal Team Leader for the European Union’s Delegation in Ethiopia, stressed the role that this fund will play in maintaining agricultural productivity during a time where there is uncertainty in the global and national food market.