Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home

Where is Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is a landlocked country in East Africa.

Our impact


The humanitarian need in Ethiopia is increasing at an alarming rate. This is due to armed conflict and climate change – which is leading to an increase in natural disasters, disease outbreaks and desert locust infestation. It is estimated that approximately 20 million people across Ethiopia require urgent humanitarian assistance, and this is leading to a rise in extreme poverty.

Conflict between the government and armed groups in the northern region of Tigray has been ongoing since November 2020. This has led to mass migration, widespread lack of access to food, and many people being killed or injured.

A self-help group member serves a customer in her corner shop in Adama, Ethiopia. She was able to build her small business with financial support from her local self-help group. Credit: Will Boase/Tearfund

Our work in Ethiopia

Tearfund has maintained a presence in Ethiopia since the 1970s, working in partnership with institutional donors, religious institutions and local partner organisations to tackle extreme poverty and injustice.

Through partnerships with local development and relief organisations, Tearfund is currently active across six regions in Ethiopia (Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Benishangul Gumuz, Somali and Afar).

Our focus is on providing relief and development programmes that are environmentally and economically sustainable. We work with churches in a process called Church and Community Transformation (CCT), by envisioning and equipping them to start development projects in their communities and to collaboratively address the root causes of conflict, poverty and injustice.

Tearfund’s work in Ethiopia includes: 

  • Supporting communities to access clean water and adequate sanitation 
  • Conflict resolution and peacebuilding 
  • Providing training and resources to help people increase their income 
  • Responding to disasters, crises and emergency needs 
  • Ensuring that people have enough nutritious food to eat all year round
  • Advocating for government policies which create a fairer future for all, such as improved social services

Self-help groups

Self-help groups enable small groups of people to support each other, both financially and through mutual encouragement. Members begin by saving small amounts of money, which are used to start new businesses or to help when times are tough. This has proved to be an effective method for communities to lift themselves out of poverty.

More than 20,000 self-help groups have been set up around the country. The groups build up shared savings which they can then use to set up income-generating activities.

Adapting to climate change

We have been working with thousands of farmers to help them adapt to the changing weather patterns due to climate change. Over 2,000 farmers have adopted conservation farming practices and successfully improved their crop production.

Our projects contribute to the government of Ethiopia’s efforts to foster climate-sensitive economic development, improve resilience to climate change, and respond to emergency humanitarian needs. 

Orbisa and 2 of her children stand in a dried up riverbed in Ashbehari village, Ethiopia. Credit: Chris Hoskins/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

With generous funding from the Scottish Government, Tearfund was able to support 700 conflict-affected households with emergency cash grants, enabling them to buy food and hygiene items to meet the needs of their families over a three-month period. 4,570 people benefitted from the support.

These funds also made it possible for Tearfund’s local partner to train local community members to run trauma healing events. Over 590 households attended and were supported to begin the healing process after the trauma they had experienced during the conflict.

Tearfund has ongoing funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in New Zealand for a project which is reaching out to small-scale farmers. The project is helping them to improve their harvests and connect to markets so that they can sell what they produce.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided funding for Ethiopia, which has enabled us to expand and develop our work with self-help groups.

Hirut, member of a self-help group in Nazareth, Ethiopia.  Credit: Aaron Koch

Share this page

Share this page to spread the word and help support those in need.

Get our email updates

Learn about our work and stay in touch with Tearfund. Hear about our news, activities and appeals by email.

Sign up now - Get our email updates

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.