Annual Membership Assembly Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA)

Friday, November 28, 2014
Remarks by Acting Deputy Mission Director Elise Jensen


Annual Membership Assembly

Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA)

Statement by Elise Jensen, Acting Deputy Mission Director

November 28, 2014


Thank you for inviting USAID to be with you today. It’s important because we already share many partnerships between and among USAID and CCRDA members. It’s also important because USAID seeks to expand even more our cooperation and support to Ethiopian civil society and nongovernmental organizations engaged in many different aspects of development around Ethiopia.

Our Common Purpose

USAID and CCRDA share a common mission in Ethiopia.

At USAID, we fundamentally believe that ending extreme poverty requires inclusive, broad-based, sustainable growth; free, peaceful, and self-reliant societies with effective, legitimate governments; human development through health and education, and social safety nets that reach the poorest and most vulnerable. Similarly, our cross-cutting efforts in promoting good governance, empowering women and girls, and mitigating climate change are all essential to ending poverty.

Resilient, democratic societies don’t simply maintain stability: they are essential to sustaining development progress. At USAID we believe they embrace not only elections, but also legitimate, inclusive, and accountable institutions that effectively deliver services to all of their people, advancing human dignity and development. They have the ability to manage conflict, mitigate the impact of natural disasters, and forestall crisis that otherwise roll back development gains.

Why do we do this on behalf of the American people? In addition to the moral and humanitarian imperatives to assist those in need, the United States is safer and stronger when fewer people face destitution, when our trading partners are flourishing, when nations around the world can withstand crisis.

USAID promotes sustainable development through high-impact partnerships and local solutions

At the core of our mission is a deep commitment to work as partners in fostering sustainable development. Rather than impose, we seek to empower and support through collaboration. We work hand-in-hand with those, such as you the members of CCRDA, who are striving to support the most vulnerable.

In order to achieve long-term sustainable development, we have to support the institutions, private sector partners and civil society organizations that serve as engines of growth and progress for their own nations. USAID is doing this through new models of public-private partnerships and increased investment in partner governments and local organizations.

USAID has been a leader in sustaining and promoting Ethiopia's civil society. Capacity building of local partners (many of which are affiliated with CCRDA) has been a particular area of emphasis. This year, the mission launched a five-year Local Capacity Development project which builds the institutional capacity of Ethiopian civil society organizations (CSO) holding a direct award with USAID. Through these efforts, USAID not only enables these organizations to successfully carry out their grants, but also provides assistance to ensure their viability in the current environment. As these organizations strengthen their competency in project and financial management, and develop sustainability plans, they will position themselves within Ethiopian society as key partners for development. The viability of Ethiopian organizations to sustain themselves and contribute meaningfully to society is an essential component of USAID's strategy in Ethiopia.

USAID also continues to promote Ethiopian non-profits though our work with the Donor Assistance Group’s Civil Society Sub-Group and Civil Society Working Groups. For example, USAID works with both the donor and civil society community to encourage and facilitate CSO inclusion and participation in the GTP-II development process, we work to support the enhancement of relationships and communications with the Charities and Societies Agency, and we support and promote networking and capacity building within the CSO community. 

USAID also believes that new opportunities exist for Ethiopian civil society to play an important role in promoting broader citizen engagement with the government in the delivery of services, as well as new areas such as the mining sector. For example, Ethiopia’s acceptance as a candidate country in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative provides an opening where civil society can join government and corporate stakeholders in assuring open and accountable management of revenues from natural resources for the benefit of greater society. USAID looks forward to supporting to organizations seeking to engage in this forum. Furthermore, as the Government of Ethiopia begins to scale up efforts with CSOs to promote social accountability and citizen participation in service delivery for health, education, infrastructure, safety, and other public services, we look forward to enabling this process as well. 

USAID Ethiopia Priorities and Areas of Potential Collaboration

Over the last two years, USAID Ethiopia has awarded 27 grants to local organizations totaling almost $32 million USD. This includes fifteen grants in health totaling over $17 million, four grants in agriculture and resilience totaling $6.5 million, three grants in education totaling $4.5 million, three grants in democracy and governance totaling nearly $3 million, and two grants in environment totaling just under $1 million.

Specifically, here in Ethiopia where USAID is the largest bilateral donor, we give top priority to maternal, newborn, and child survival, malaria, TB, and HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. In education, we invest heavily in improving reading across primary schools—children and adults need to read to be able to learn. We focus our resources from the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative on food security, nutrition, and agricultural growth that benefits smallholder farmers and their households. We contribute to the Productive Safety Net Program which supports the poorest and most food insecure households and helps build their ability to break the cycle of extreme poverty. We also have special programs to assist pastoral communities to adapt to climate change in the drylands, while improving their livelihoods, their access to water, health and education. Finally, Ethiopia is a focus country for the president’s Power Africa Initiative, which is designed to attract the investments and innovations required to double access to electricity.

At USAID in Ethiopia, we believe the success of our support to the country’s growth and transformation is measured by the success of our local partners and cooperation across government, business, and non-governmental organizations. No one donor, government agency, business or non-profit can do it alone.

For this reason, I close by wishing CCRDA and the membership continued and greater success and look forward to continuing and new partnerships between you and USAID in the years to come.

Thank you.

See Also

Remarks by Elise Jensen CCDRA 11-28-14 [PDF, 127KB]

USAID Ethiopia - Doing Business With Us

USAID Ethiopia - Partnership Opportunities

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Issuing Country