Left to right: Turhan Saleh, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative and H.E Melaku Alebel, Minister of Ministry of Trade and Industry

UNDP continues its support to Ethiopia during the COVID-19 pandemic both in prevention and ensuring business continuity of government offices and institutions. As part of its response to COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative, Turhan Saleh, hands over 76,210 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including facemasks, gloves and thermometers to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to be distributed to local manufacturing industries.

The provision of PPE will equip domestic industries to safely and effectively continue their work while preventing further spread of the disease. UNDP is also supporting workers in six industrial parks to take COVID-19 preventive measures by increasing their awareness through VIAMO, a digital technology for sharing information and connecting people.

H. E Melaku Alebel, Minister of Ministry of Trade and Industry, expressed gratitude to UNDP’s past and present support to the industry sector and noted the delivery of this set of PPE as a welcome gift.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative, Turhan Saleh, expressed UNDP’s commitment on supporting the creation of framework and an enabling environment for strengthening of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to generate more jobs and protect enterprises from the impact of COVID-19 and in the long term integrate them with the supply chain of big manufacturing industries. Maintaining the MSMEs will help to keep the economy alive, retaining jobs and ultimately addressing the serious challenges posed by COVID-19 on the social, economic and political spheres of the country.

The UN with the leadership of UNDP assessed the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia. A response and recovery plan that focuses on retention of jobs, maintaining enterprises, provision of social protection and ensuring resilience of the rural economy are the key targets of the plan. This would be a framework and entery point for the continued engagement of UNDP and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

UNDP has been supporting the development of the industrial sector since 2013. It has supported the transformation of the sector through policy advisory and providing strategic direction by facilitating various feasibility and diagnostic studies. It has also helped in developing improved industrial statistical database management; Industrial Information System and Labour Sourcing System. UNDP’s support on the design of industrial zones led to the establishment of Bole Lemi and Hawassa Industrial Parks that created over 95,000 job opportunities.

Ethiopia envisions to be a leader in light manufacturing in Africa. The country is investing on the development of labor-intensive export oriented large and medium scale industries for foreign exchange generation and job creation predominantly for the youth and women.

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