50 Years of Service in Ethiopia
May 21, 2008, —By Debbie DeVoe
Since 1958, Catholic Relief Services has been providing relief and development assistance to those most in need in Ethiopia. Working side by side with the government and local partners, CRS helps Ethiopians cope in the face of emergencies and build the foundations needed to ultimately improve their overall quality of life.
CRS programs help ensure that poor Ethiopians have enough food and can earn sufficient income, even in times of crisis. During the 1984-1985 famine, which claimed more than 1 million lives, CRS worked with partners to launch one of the largest relief operations in the country. CRS continues to respond to cyclical droughts and famine while undertaking longer term development programming. Today, primary activities include preventing the spread of HIV and caring for those affected by the virus; assisting farmers to grow more crops and sell them for a profit; and delivering integrated services in watershed areas to help neighboring communities maximize the benefits of available water.
Debbie DeVoe is CRS' regional information officer in East Africa based in Nairobi. She has visited projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.