In pastoral areas of Ethiopia, chronic shocks and stresses are a known reality. USAID believes pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, and those transitioning out of pastoralism increase their resilience by being better prepared for and successful at seeking out, securing, and thriving in alternative, climate adaptive livelihoods. Alternative livelihoods form additional income streams or entirely new livelihoods. For some, continuing in entrepreneurship is essential, while for others, seeking meaningful employment holds the key to a better future for themselves and their children. Regardless of the livelihoods chosen, the demand for and supply of appropriate skills, financial services, innovative technologies and services, and markets are essential for coping, adapting and transforming.


The USAID-PRIME consortium uses the Market Systems Approach to analyze the support functions (services) and enabling environment essential for increased learning, growth, inclusion and transformation of markets critical in the drylands. Only by carrying out facilitative activities that strengthen key support functions and the enabling environment can the system provide the skills training, value chain financing, value adding technologies, business support services, and supportive policies essential for more competitiveness, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

  • Inclusive Financial Services: Pastoral areas of Ethiopia lag in inclusive economic growth in large part due to an absence of appropriate financial products and services. USAID-PRIME will work directly with microfinance institutions, banks, rural savings and credit cooperatives, industry, and government regulatory bodies to build their capacity and develop pro-growth policies. Additionally, USAID will work with insurance providers to develop products more suited to the realities of targeted households.
  • Climate Adaptive Technologies: USAID partners with supply chain actors introducing, marketing, and bringing to rural markets critical inputs, skills, and technologies, enabling producers and businesses to improve their productivity and adapt to the changing climate.
  • Jobs: USAID supports private businesses, chambers of commerce, and government institutions instrumental to job growth, enabling them to create more and better employment opportunities, as well as expand markets for local produce in pastoral areas.
  • Skills Training: The activity works with formal and informal training institutions, as well as job placement agencies, to ensure those transitioning out of pastoralism can build the employable skills the market is demanding today and in the future so they can secure meaningful livelihoods.


Netsaalem Bahiru, Alternative Livelihood Advisor, +251 (0) 111.110.777
Mercy Corps Ethiopia
House #504 Mundy St. Piazza
Arada Sub-city, Kebele 01/02, Addis Ababa

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