Our work in Ethiopia focuses on food security, income generation, resilience building, climate change adaptation, response to natural and human-made disasters and training of civil society organisations.

©Sofia Wraber

Country Director
Cecilie Winther
Mobile: +251 930 100514
Skype: ceciliewinther Addis

DCA Ethiopia Office
Kirkos Sub-city, Kebele 02, H. No174
Ethio-China Friendship Avenue, Addis Ababa
Tel: +251-11 551 4047
Fax: +251- 11 5527814
P. O. box 28772 code 1000
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

7,310,828 US$ in 2016

People in need reached
In 2016 DCA Ethiopia has helped 323,832

Experience in Ethiopia
DCA has supported relief projects since the 1970s 

DCA in Ethiopia

DCA has been supporting food insecure communities in Ethiopia with humanitarian assistance and long term development since the mid-1970s through local churches and faith based organizations and has been legally registered in the country since 2004.

Despite a fast-growing economy Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The battle against food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges facing Ethiopia. Every year more than 10 million people depend upon relief food assistance; and even more people starve when the country – with shorter and shorter intervals - is hit by drought. The country’s too much dependency on rain for farming and water resource has made it extremely vulnerable to negative effects of climate changes. In addition, Ethiopia is host to some 800,000 refugees from neighboring countries mainly South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia and due to an open door policy of the government more refugees are still coming.

DCA Ethiopia’s modality of implementation is a combination of co- and self- implementation and working with local partners and likeminded INGOs in consortia. DCA also works closely with communities and government structures at different levels to strengthen community resilience and disaster risk management, to create access to appropriate livelihoods and to economically empower, particularly rural women and girls to engage in decision-making. We also support and capacitate partners in projects as well as administrative and financial resource management. We work closely with refugee authorities (ARRA) and UNHCR when responding to needs of refugees and their hosting communities. We introduce innovative and appropriate technologies to address vulnerability, we fill in knowledge and skills gaps, build local capacity and when appropriate we work closely with private sector. Finally, we respond by the humanitarian imperative with timely relief in emergencies.

DCA and its partners operate in more than 20 woredas in Amhara, Afar, Oromia, and Gambella regional states. Since DCA works with vulnerable populations, the project sites are often in poor, remote and struggling communities who have little access to education, health, markets and infrastructure.

Activities in Ethiopia

Introducing quinoa

Introducing quinoa

As part of ensuring small scale farmers in Ethiopia sufficient food, DCA has been working to introduce the South American crop, Quinoa, to Ethiopia.

Quinoa is resistant to drought and irregular weather. It contains lots of calories, protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is also gluten free. Initially DCA employees brought a few bags of organic quinoa to Ethiopia in order to conduct small scale tests with farmers in climate-challenged areas.

DCA took the initiation to create awareness about the importance of this crop and in collaboration with Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) through Melkassa Agricultural Research Center (MARC) and Copenhagen University introduced a quinoa variety called “Titicaca”. After the introduction, adaptation trials were conducted for two seasons at different locations of Amhara and Oromia Regions and registered in April 2016. Currently, with the financial support obtained from American and Denmark governments, DCA and its partners are trying to demonstrate and promote the crop in selected districts of Oromia and Amhara regions.  

Introducing E-Voucher in a refugee setting

Introducing E-Voucher in a refugee setting

Since July 2015 DCA has introduced an electronic voucher system in Gambella Refugee camps. The system introduced by Red Rose allows refugees to purchase nutritional food items using a smart card.

Currently more than 6,800 beneficiaries are accessing the smart cards. There are 47 active vendors in the three refugee camps. DCA’s smart card will tackle malnutrition by targeting children 6 to 23 month, lactating mothers and pregnant women.

The amount of money we distribute to the refugees depends on the family size. If the family size is 5 or below 100 ETB /4.3 $/ per two weeks and households with family size 6 and above receive 150 ETB / 6.5 $/ per two weeks.

Refugees also receive cooking instructions/demonstration. 

Building resilient communities

Building resilient communities

In order to enable communities to reduce their vulnerability to drought, DCA promotes an integrated approach to improve water source development and management and livelihood diversification and capacity building initiatives.

DCA is striving to improve capacity of targeted communities and local government institutions to monitor, mitigate and respond to drought risks. We also work to improve adaptive and mitigation capacity of vulnerable households and communities to reduce drought risk.

DCA also works to create access to water supply for both humans and livestock and access to sanitation and hygiene facilities for vulnerable communities. 

Empower poor and marginalized women

Empower poor and marginalized women

DCA’s programme areas ensure poor and marginalized women are socially and economically empowered to influence decision making processes at all levels on issues affecting women and girls. Institutions and communities in DCA programme areas are responsive and accountable on women and girls issues.

Women were organized into their own self-managed active grassroots women’s institutions, known as the self-help groups (SHGs) and their higher level structures. The SHGs are used as entry points to mobilise poor and marginalized women.

The intent is to enable them to exercise their potential expressing their ideas, exercising their social skills, mobilising their resources and gaining entrepreneurship skills to take up economic activities with the ultimate goal of empowering women to actively participate in decision making processes in their groups, their households and communities (including formal structures).

The women learn leadership skills and gain confidence by having positions of responsibility. The women also participate in community level discussions which deal with addressing women’s and girls’ issues such as harmful traditional practices, household division of labour, gender based violence etc.

Read stories

Quinoa performing well in Ethiopia
The newly introduced nutritious and stress tolerant crop, quinoa, is doing well in Ethiopia. The crop, still on trial at research and farmers fields, has shown a great potential.

Years without migration
The residents of Dhadacha Farda Kebele used to migrate in search of water, but for two years now they have not needed to leave their home area.

Introducing a new system
A new fresh food voucher system introduced in Ethiopia, is benefiting 3,000 South Sudanese refugee families in Tierkidi camp in Gambella.

Local partners:

  • Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus/Development and Social Service Commission /EECMY- DASSC/
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission /EOC- DICAC/
  • Agency for Development /AFD/
  • Lutheran World Federation /LWF/
  • Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development /ACCORD/
  • Women Support Association /WSA/
  • Africa Humanitarian Action /AHA/
  • Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research /EIAR/
  • Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association /CCRDA/

Consortium partners

  • Save the Children /SCI/
  • Cooperazione Internazionale /COOPI/
  • Action contre la Faim /ACF/
  • Norwegian Church Aid /NCA/

Donors in Ethiopia

Workie, watering her backyard garden 

©Peter Høvring

Partner staff instructing about Chickpea which is distributed to farmers affected by drought 

©Tinbit Amare

A farmer harvesting quinoa at Worielu district 

©Teferi Aschenaki

A husband and wife harvesting their quinoa farmland 

©Teferi Aschenaki

A Quinoa plant at maturity stage 

©Teferi Aschenaki

watering his goats

©Tinbit Amare

Abdo Ibrahim, providing drinking water for his goats

©Tinbit Amare

Abdo Ibrahim, washing his hands in Hara Amaya pond constructed by DCA

©Tinbit Amare

Latrine construction at Jewi refugee camp

©Tinbit Amare

Quinoa plants at Melkasa Research Centre

©Tinbit Amare

Chickpea seeds, to be distributed to farmers affected by drought 

©Tinbit Amare

A farmer who received a bag of chickpeas at Chila Keble, in Dehana district 

©Tinbit Amare

Handwashing campaign in Jewi refugee camp, Gambella

©Hilina Abebe

Hygiene and Community Outreach Agents in Gambella during handwashing campaign 

©Hilina Abebe

Halima with her camels 

©Pamela Zentatu

Women fetching drinking water

©Pamela Zentatu

House construction in Dehana district 

©Peter Hovering

A Vender in Gambella selling vegetable using a smart phone 

©Kaspar Wenstrup