U.S. Investments Strengthen Urban Health in Ethiopia

The United States, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, marked the successful end of the five-year Strengthening Ethiopia’s Urban Health Program, which helped improve the quality of health services for 2.5 million households in Addis Ababa and nearly 50 other cities and towns around the country.

Over the past five years, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Health have been working together to address the unique challenges that rapid urbanization creates in both accessibility and quality of primary healthcare, particularly among the poorest residents. In response, USAID invested in skills training for more than 2,500 urban health extension professionals, helping them better serve and care for families living in the communities where they work. The project also helped improve water, sanitation and hygiene in urban areas—including the construction of safe drinking water points and public latrines.

Speaking at the closing ceremony event, USAID Acting Mission Director Alicia Dinerstein remarked, “No country can achieve its full socio-economic potential without providing its citizens with the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives. That is why the United States believes that investing in health is one of the best investments we can make towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all Ethiopians.”

The United States is the largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $200 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal, and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, through USAID, the United States has invested more than $3.5 billion in development and humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia over the past five years.