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Seed Emergency Response with the Government of Ethiopia (SERGE) Project – ETH920

A drought due to the El Niño phenomenon during 2015 is currently impacting 10.2 million people in various regions of Ethiopia. All zones of the four target regions are among the areas most affected. Communities suffer from chronic food insecurity due to a combination of various factors, including erratic rains, small landholdings, highly degraded farmlands, infertile soil, pest infestation, livestock disease and malaria. Ethiopia has a bi-modal rain pattern, a short Belg rain extends from February to May and the long Meher rain from July to October. These rains are critical for crop cultivation as well as pasture and water regeneration. In 2014/2015, the performances of the two main rainy seasons were either very poor or failed in many parts of the country. This has led to a prolonged drought with far-reaching effects on food security and also water, sanitation and hygiene among the affected communities.

The action will support severely affected and vulnerable small-holder farmers to recover from the drought crisis. By supporting target households with a variety of seeds to plant long and short cycle crops for the upcoming Meher agricultural season, this project will contribute to the increased food production and livelihood recovery of the target zones located in Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray, SNNP and other Regional States of Ethiopia where seed needs are high and identified by the Emergency Seed Working Group. Led by CARE, consortium partners (Concern Worldwide, DanChurchAid and Save the Children) will focus primarily on the provision of urgent crop seeds, that are appropriate to the local context, through seed distribution and conditional cash transfers to reach an estimate of 179.126 Households (a total of 895.630 individuals) with seed resources across proposed target woredas (districts) for the upcoming Meher crop production season.

Project Goal and Objectives

To contribute to the food security and livelihood recovery of drought-affected smallholder farmers in target woredas of Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and SNNP Regions, preventing further asset depletion and food shortages.

Improve the production of targeted drought-affected small-scale farmer households through provision of seeds and conditional cash transfers for agriculture.

Through the provision of much-needed seeds or cash for seed resources, the action anticipates that there will be an increase in agricultural production of long and short cycle crops in target areas as a result, provided that pre-conditions are met and risks are mitigated.

Expected Results

ER 1: Targeted households gained increased access to adequate seed quality and quantity enabling increased food production following the Meher 2016 harvest period.

ER 2: Improved coordination, learning and capacity of government and implementing partners in operational areas for drought response and recovery efforts.


The beneficiaries of this project are smallholder farmer households who are most affected by the current El Niño-induced drought, with a focus on the most vulnerable particularly resource poor women-headed households. An estimate of 179.126 Households (a total of 895.630 individuals) will be targeted.

Total Budget

EUR 5,000,000


Concern Worldwide, DanChurchAid, Save the Children


26.05.2016 – 25.03.2017

This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):