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With the aim of tackling the growing number of poor in urban areas, Ethiopian government in collaboration with the World Bank launched a 450 million urban safety net program. The five years program signed between the two sides this morning aims to reach 604,000 urban poor in the coming five years. The beneficiaries represent the poorest 12 percent and about 55% of people living below the poverty line in the eleven cities selected for the program.
The program is part of Ethiopia’s government urban food security and job creation strategy, which aims to support over 4.7 million urban poor living in 972 cities and towns in the coming ten years. Under the program continuous income support will be provided to elderly and disabled living in households with no-working age members, street children, the homeless and beggars. While for those who are able to work life skills training support and guidance on employment pathway, among others will also be provided, according to the project document.
Reports show that Ethiopia’s productive safety net program in the rural areas rural which has been implemented since 2005 has reduced poverty by 2%. Currently there are over 7 million people in Ethiopia are benefiting from rural productive safety net program of the country while another 10.2 million are facing drought from the El nino induced drought.
The urban safety net program the country is planning to start implementing as of April 2016 in elven major cities including Addis Ababa, also aims to replicate the success achieved in the rural areas.