Ethiopia - World Bank Helps Strengthen Rural Connectivity and Road Access to Boost Climate-Resilience and Food Security

press release

Addis Ababa — new program targeted at improving rural connectivity and access to markets aims to assist 11.3 million people in rural Ethiopia, 50% of which are women. A $300 million grant from the International Development Association* (IDA) will support the country in enhancing climate-resilient physical and digital access to food markets and services in rural areas and strengthen roads asset management.

"This program represents our deep commitment to boosting Ethiopia's rural economy. 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," said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Group Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan.

Nearly 80% of Ethiopia's population resides in rural areas, where livelihoods are increasingly vulnerable due to climate change and instability. 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 undernutrition.

The Ethiopia Rural Connectivity for Food Security Program 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 program aims to enhance linkages between market actors and promote efficient contract farming management.

On a broader scale, by improving physical and digital accessibility, the program is expected to drive economic recovery and foster social cohesion within rural communities. It aims to generate employment opportunities for rural residents, including youth and women, enhance food security and aid income generation through better market access and connectivity. The program is expected to lead to cost savings, streamline investment and maintenance efforts, establish integrated procedures, and support the coordinated organization and delivery of safe and climate-resilient rural roads.

* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

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