Samara, Afar Region, August 24, 2023 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ethiopia’s new Mission Director, Scott Hocklander, traveled to Afar Region to meet with regional leadership and elders, visit USAID/Ethiopia-supported development projects, and discuss the response effort to combat the recent desert locust infestation.
Director Hocklander met with Afar Regional State President His Excellency Awol Arba Unde to discuss the long-standing partnership between the United States and the people in the Afar Region and across Ethiopia. Director Hocklander emphasized USAID’s commitment to assisting the region to combat climate and other natural shocks, enhance agricultural production, deliver quality public health services, and improve access to safe water supplies and basic sanitation.
He also met with regional elders to listen to how local leaders envision the region’s path towards and opportunities for resilient development and what they see as USAID/Ethiopia’s role in supporting that vision. He discussed the recent desert locust infestation and response efforts with the regional coordinator of the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In Dubti, Director Hocklander visited a local livestock business, which is receiving ongoing support through the USAID Resilience in Pastoral Areas project. The project provided a small grant—which allowed the business to develop holding pens for goats, sheep, and cattle with feeding and watering troughs—and business development training on bookkeeping, financial management, and business expansion. This support has allowed the business to reach marginalized communities and created a reliable livestock market for pastoralist herders.
Finally, he toured Dubti General Hospital to see the impact of USAID/Ethiopia’s former Transforming Health in Developing Regions activity. This project provided the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with baby warmers, monitors, incubators, and more; refurbished the pharmacy in the hospital and equipped the facility with a blood bank; and supported the hospital in setting up a one-stop center for gender-based violence survivors.
In 2022 alone, USAID/Ethiopia invested more than $1.8 billion across the country in humanitarian and development aid. These projects are examples of continued cooperation between the American people and the people of Ethiopia.