Global Humanitarian Assistance Report praises Ethiopia’s Safety–Net Program
Addis Ababa, July 23 (WIC) - Ethiopia has demonstrated a long-term process of dealing with food insecurity which will ultimately relieve the need for emergency humanitarian assistance, the latest Global Humanitarian Assistance Report indicated.
Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) is mentioned as the potential beneficiary of the country’s efforts at resilience-building.
Implemented in 2005 by the Ethiopian government and financed by the Donor Coordinating Group, the PSNP is the largest social safety net program in Africa, outside of South Africa.
It aims to end dependency on emergency food relief and stimulate sustainable livelihoods. Although predominantly a development program, the PSNP has recently improved its capacity through the introduction of a risk financing mechanism to help address humanitarian emergencies.
This is made up of an early warning system, contingency finance, contingency planning, and capacity development components. The Global Humanitarian Assistance Report praises the work of the PSNP Risk Financing Mechanism, arguing that it provides “comparative advantages over traditional humanitarian responses to food insecurity” and that it demonstrated this capacity in its response to the 2011 crisis.
According to the report, the PSNP was also considerably more cost effective than the UN and NGO-managed responses to the crisis, spending an estimated US$53 rather than their US$169 per person.
Where the PSNP Risk Financing Mechanism has been implemented, the Report also notes it reduced reaction time between identifying the crisis and responding, from a typical 8 months by traditional humanitarian actors to 2 months.
Nevertheless, the PSNP has led to some improvements for those living in food-insecure areas; the program still struggles to deal comprehensively with particularly severe shocks such as the 2011 crisis. Emergency humanitarian assistance may therefore still be needed.
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