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USAID’s $35M Initiative: A Game-Changer for Ethiopia’s Health Sector

May 2, 2024
1 min read

U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia

On May 2, 2024, the inauguration of the USAID Lowlands Health Activity took place in Addis Ababa, with the presence of USAID Deputy Mission Director Eleanor TanPiengco and Minister of Health Dr. Mekdes Daba. This new initiative, which has a budget of $35 million spread over a period of five years, has the objective of improving health and nutrition outcomes for mothers and children in the pastoral regions of Ethiopia. The implementation of this project across 35 districts in the Somali, Afar, Southern Ethiopia, and Oromia regions will be carried out by EngenderHealth Inc., in collaboration with a consortium of international and local partners.

Starting from 2017, USAID has been actively involved in supporting maternal and child health in pastoralist regions through the Transform Health in Developing Regions project. This previous initiative has achieved significant progress in enhancing key health indicators, such as skilled birth attendance and immunization coverage. The Lowlands Health Activity will specifically target marginalized populations by providing essential services, including primary healthcare, access to quality services, the promotion of healthy behaviors, and the establishment of health facilities that offer reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent, and nutrition services. By directly aligning with the goals of USAID and Ethiopia’s Health Sector Transformation, this project aims to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

During the launch event, Deputy Mission Director Eleanor TanPiengco declared, “The Lowlands Health Activity is designed to increase access to skilled birth care and comprehensive pre- and post-natal services for mothers, as well as improved healthcare and nutritional services for their children. Moreover, it will assist in the recovery of health facilities in Afar that have been impacted by conflict.” USAID’s annual investment in Ethiopia’s health sector is more than $200 million. This new endeavor represents the continuous partnership between the American and Ethiopian populations.

The year 2024 signifies a significant milestone in the relationship between the citizens of the United States and Ethiopia. It was 120 years ago when the two nations first established official diplomatic relations, and 60 years later when USAID was founded in Ethiopia.

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