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PRESS RELEASE November 25, 2020

World Bank Group Reaffirms its Commitment to Improve the Livelihood of Ethiopia’s Poorest and Most Vulnerable Population

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2020-The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $512.5 in financing from the International Development Association to the Government of Ethiopia for the Strengthen Ethiopia’s Adaptive Safety Net Project (SEASN). This financing includes a $200 million credit and a $312.5 million grant, of which $12.5 million comes from the special Window for Crisis Response. The funds will support Ethiopia’s efforts to build resilience and create a more inclusive and sustainable growth path, complementing Ethiopia’s COVID-19 and locust emergency response efforts.

The SEASN project aims to make key enhancements to Ethiopia’s flagship Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), in particular supporting the Government to expand the geographic coverage  of the safety net to additional drought-prone woredas and strengthen the capacity to function as an integrated shock responsive safety net system under a common framework for humanitarian food assistance. The project includes pre-allocated Crisis Response Window financing, which, if triggered, would facilitate early response to emerging food security crises.

Over the past 15 years the Bank has been supporting the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). The SEASN project will expand the geographic coverage and enhance service delivery to improve the well-being of extremely poor and vulnerable households in Ethiopia’s drought-prone communities,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.

When launched in 2005, the PSNP marked an important shift from annual emergency food aid appeals to a planned approach to food security and predictable shock response. Since then, the program has become one of the largest safety net programs in the world and has continued to evolve, seeking out better and more efficient means of graduating households from food insecurity. The programs’ strong commitment to building on lessons and evidence has improved the lives of millions of Ethiopians and contributed to poverty reduction and a more equitable redistribution of economic growth benefits.

The SEASN project supports the fifth phase of PSNP and is an important next step in modernizing the program and advancing unfinished agendas. While the program will continue to provide a predictable safety net for Ethiopia’s poorest population, SEASN will also invest in technology based delivery systems and enhance the shock responsive elements of PSNP,” said Lucian Bucur Pop, Task Team Leader of the project at the World Bank.

SEASN will support Ethiopia’s renewed efforts to address longer-term livelihood challenges and advance the early childhood development agenda, which are key development priorities for the country. In order to provide income support in the short run as well as support for livelihoods and financial independence over the medium term, the project will include public works activities as well as income diversification activities, with a built-in strategy for graduation. Additionally, the program is designed to meet the various needs of the poor and will provide direct cash transfers for the elderly, disabled and pregnant mothers.  

* 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.



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Gelila Woodeneh
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