Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA) and the donor Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF) of Canada have launched implementation of the project: ‘’Response to COVID-19 – Access to Inputs and Capital to Sustain Livelihoods in Time of COVID-19 Pandemic’’ on October 7/2020 in Hagare mariam Woreda, Semien Shewa Zone, Amhara National Regional State.

During the launching event, the Zone administrator (Ato Tadesse Gebre Tsadik) expressed the demand in the zone for similar projects to curb the impact of COVID-19 on farmers and halt its expansion. The educative significance of the project is also vital not only for the selected Kebeles, but also for the Semien Shewa zone as a whole, which is now serving as one of the important destinations of tourists and investors in the country. Moreover, the administrator and other participants of the launching event have expressed their appreciation to the project with respect to greater opportunities given to women beneficiaries (67% of beneficiaries are women).

During the event, Ato Afework Hailu CEO of EWNRA and Ato Brehanu Ambaw Country Manager of CDF-Canada briefed the background and working interest their respective organization and the project objective of the project, and requested strong support and collaboration from sector offices at zone, woreda and kebele levels.

The project coordinator Ato Solomon Manaye elaborated in his detailed presentation the project objectives, beneficiary selection criteria, number and composition of beneficiaries (4000 female and 2000 male), role and responsibilities of pertinent stakeholders at all level, the type and amount of services that the project will provide like increasing access for inputs , alternative livelihood options as well as the identified seven cooperatives and five SACCOs for the purpose of input distribution and loan facilities.  In addition to that, he clearly indicated the allocated budget, and the integration of the project with 4R Nutrient Stewardship project being implemented in adjacent Minjar Shenkora Woreda of the zone.

Following an in-depth discussion on the project, the Zone administrator and the administrator of Hagere Mariam-Kesem Woreda (Ato Berehan Mekonnen) ascertained their commitment to support implementation of the project according to its plan. They have already shown this commitment from the very beginning by providing office free of charge as governmental contribution and helped to realign the budget allocated for office rent to the beneficiaries.

Text Box: Office provided by The Woreda for the project site staffs