On the 7th of July 2022 at the President’s Office of the Amhara Region, Her Excellency the Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia Ms. Outi Holopainen on behalf of the Finnish Government, presented contribution of 10 880 426 ETB directed to the Amhara National Regional State Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Fund for People in the Conflict-Affected Area (ARRF). The contribution was made available through flexible use of the funds of AgroBIG.
In addition, the Finnish Government has directed support to the Amhara region in various other ways: Finnish-Ethiopian bilateral project, COWASH has reallocated 21 million ETB from capacity development to rehabilitating of water points in conflict-affected areas in Amhara and Finland is directing 105 million ETB to school feeding in Amhara through UNICEF and the Bureau of Education.
At the ceremony, the Ambassador reminded, that bilateral development cooperation between Finland and Ethiopia dates back to the 1960s. Currently, the Government of Finland is funding projects in areas such as Agriculture and Rural Development, Water and Sanitation, Land Administration and General Education, the total investments being more than 2,6 billion ETB. The conflict affected many economic and livelihood areas in the Amhara region, also in the fields of these projects. The Ambassador underlined, that peace and stability are prerequisites for development: “We should not build and then rebuild.”
H.E. the President Dr. Yilikal Kefale thanked the Ambassador for the contribution, and applauded Finland being one of the firsts to make a contribution of this kind. He stated, that the conflict has caused massive damages and estimated that 290 billion ETB worth of infrastructure had been destroyed in the Amhara region. The director of the ARRF Dr. Abate Getahun also joined in thanking the Finnish government with acknowledging that “a friend in need, is a friend indeed.” Dr. Getahun also extended his gratitude to the AgroBIG project and wished for continued technical assistance from the project in repairing the damages caused in the agricultural sector.