Media CenterCRS Congratulates Ethiopian Prime Minister on 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Win

Will Baxter/CRS

You are here


Will Baxter
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, October 11, 2019 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) issues the following statement in response to the announcement of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, as the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to ending the country's two-decade war with neighboring Eritrea.

“We applaud Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, being awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Ahmed’s national leadership on guiding the peacebuilding and reconciliation process in Ethiopia is an important reminder to us all that progress is indeed possible, even under the most trying of circumstances.

It’s our hope that this award shines a spotlight on all of the tireless peacebuilding efforts happening in Ethiopia each and every day to bring about an end to decades of conflict. Our experience working in the country has taught us that working for peace at the local level is imperative to creating lasting change.

But more work still needs to be done to ensure regional stability in the future. We know that peace cannot happen when families don’t have enough food to eat or enough water to drink. CRS and the local Catholic Church are working closely with the Ethiopian government on peacebuilding efforts in the country’s Oromia region, where nearly 3 million people have been uprooted from their homes due to ethnic conflict since 2018. The aim of this work is to address the root causes of the conflict, such as entrenched poverty. Since the upheaval started in the spring of 2018, we’ve provided critical services like shelter and economic assistance to displaced and returning families. In addition, we are bringing people together from both sides of the conflict and encouraging them to work together on ‘connector’ projects that benefit their communities as a whole. As a result, people who were embroiled in conflict not long ago end up working side by side to refurbish their schools and health clinics, or to build and manage new water distribution points and wells.

The road to peace starts with cooperation and common goals. We look forward to continued partnerships with the government as we help communities resolve ethnic disputes and work toward sustainable peace.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Online Tools:
CRS Online Press Room:

Photo by Lauren Carroll for CRS

Regional Information Officer for Eastern Africa

Will Baxter
October 11, 2019

Will Baxter is the regional information officer for east Africa for Catholic Relief Services. He serves as the point person for media, actively connecting journalists with engaging stories about CRS’ work throughout the region. Operating out of Nairobi, Kenya, Will travels throughout the east Africa Region to report in-depth stories on a wide range of issues, including nutrition, agriculture,...More