About us


Our mission, our goals, our mandate


UNDP is based on the merging of the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, created in 1949, and the United Nations Special Fund, established in 1958. UNDP, as we know it now, was established in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.


UNDP in Ethiopia

Who we are

UNDP first signed its agreement of cooperation with Ethiopia, the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA) back in February 1981. Since then, UNDP has remained engaged, providing Ethiopia with strategic support, and strengthening the capacity of national institutions to deliver the much-needed development results. 

UNDP’s interventions have prioritized long-term, supporting structural change that would unlock transformational benefits of technical assistance at all levels. It has done so robustly, impartially and patiently, paying attention to the sustainability of the support provided, and driven by the belief that an effective development partnership with Ethiopia requires strategic patience and, with it, the deployment of patient capital.

Over the last five years, UNDP Ethiopia has mobilized over a USD 100 million investment through its regular resources and partners to enhance the delivery of nationally defined and country-owned priorities. 

UNDP takes advantage of its presence in over 170 countries to help Ethiopia access best practices and strengthen its south-south cooperation. The organisation has played a role in supporting Ethiopia to develop and implement key strategies such as the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE), through which the country seeks to achieve an ambitious target of 64% emission reduction by 2030 while building the country's adaptive capacity and resilience.

UNDP’s strategic approach has helped Ethiopia to set up key national institutions such as the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX), the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO) and the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC).

Read UNDP's new country programme document (2020-2025)

Programme Pillars

UNDP will support a successful transition to democratic governance, address drivers of conflict to consolidate and build peace, foster enabling conditions for expanded job creation by the private sector (especially SMEs) and accelerate the transition to a green economy resilient to climate change. Gender equality and women’s empowerment will be embedded across all areas of work.

The UNDP Ethiopia Country Programme is informed by the UNDP Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and is closely aligned to the national development priorities as defined in Ethiopia's Ten Year Perspective Plan (2020-2030) and the Home Grown Economic Reform Agenda to tackle the interlinked issues of poverty, inequality and exclusion and achieving the SDGs. 

Expected outcomes from UNDP-Ethiopia's strategic plan

  • Structural transformations for inclusive and sustainable development is accelerated.
  • Poverty eradication in all its forms and dimensions is advanced.
  • Resilience to shocks and crises is strengthened.

Commitment to gender equality

UNDP Ethiopia’s CPD (2020-2025) recognizes gender inequality as one of the structural challenges deterring Ethiopia from achieving development gains. Gender equality is therefore one of the priorities the CO will seek to see a significant impact. In the principles of the CPD, inclusion and targeting those left behind ‘especially women and youth (15-30 years) and among them, those below the national poverty line who are unemployed, exposed to violence, displaced, facing discrimination, have a disability or are marginalized in civic and political spaces’ are prioritized. UNDP CPD has three outcome areas through which entry points for advancing gender equality are identified. Under the first pillar of the CPD, UNDP commits to promoting democratic governance and protection of human rights which involves gender-responsive legal and regulatory reform, social cohesion and peacebuilding in its work on democratic governance as well as perusing rule of law and access to justice. Under the second Pillar, UNDP Ethiopia’s CPD provides emphasis on financial inclusion and ecosystem for entrepreneurship, targeting youth, especially young women entrepreneurs. This component aims at ensuring that women gain access to financing with special attention given to linkages with supply chains connected to large industrial and agro-industrial parks where most workers are young women. Under the third Pillar, UNDP Ethiopia’s CPD emphasizes the need to ‘leapfrog to a green economy and faster adaptation to climate change. To achieve this, UNDP commits to apply ‘innovative models and tools for monitoring and gender mainstreaming, and integration of climate resilience into policies and strategies.’ During the CPD implementation, UNDP Ethiopia will continue to engage in the implementation of gender-responsive community action plans to ensure integrated adaptation and mitigation responses that simultaneously tackle sustainability and poverty.