Meet Aberu Mamo, a farmer in Ethiopia. With USAID's support, villages like Aberu's are becoming more resilient to recurring drought, helping break the cycle of crisis and reduce the need for emergency food aid. Through the Feed the Future GRAD project, USAID trained farmers like Aberu to diversify income, leverage loans and increase savings. "The money saved can be used to pass the worst time," Aberu says.
USAID PRESENTS IN THE 1980s, SEVERE DROUGHT IN ETHIOPIA LED TO ABOUT 1 MILLION DEATHS FROM FAMINE. TODAY, USAID IS PREPARING FAMILIES TO WITHSTAND THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT, REDUCING THE NEED FOR FOOD AID. ABERU MAMO, FARMER There’s a proverb our families say: ‘’Money and ideas can start in small places.” Which means it is good to start small while saving money. And this will enable us to be where we want to be. The money saved can be used to pass the worst time. SOUTH TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA My name is Aberu Mamo. I am a farmer. I live with my husband and my children. In the beginning, we were registered for the government’s social safety net program. Having a source of income is much better. We decided to find new ways to earn money. My husband works in the cattle trade and I sell cooking oil from our house. THROUGH FEED THE FUTURE, USAID TRAINED FARMERS LIKE ABERU TO DIVERSIFY INCOME, LEVERAGE LOANS AND INCREASE SAVINGS. My husband and I decided to work hard day and night instead of being dependent. At that time we didn’t own a house, but afterwards we built one. The smoky injera maker was changed to an electric oven. And when our children go to university, we can take from our savings without any problem. If severe drought happens here, I could withdraw from my savings and manage to take care of my children and other family members. But if we didn’t have savings, we would be obliged to sell our cattle or sheep. And we would go back to the same old life of poverty and eventually death. I never worry about drought happening again in this area. Even if it did happen, we are prepared. WITH USAID SUPPORT, VILLAGES LIKE ABERU’S ARE BECOMING MORE RESILIENT TO RECURRING DROUGHT, HELPING BREAK THE CYCLE OF CRISIS.