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Publication | 24 March 2021

Ethiopia’s social safety net effective in limiting COVID-19 impacts on rural food insecurity

Multiple studies have documented the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the poor and vulnerable. Over the past decade, rigorous evaluations have shown Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) yielding positive results in addressing household poverty and food insecurity in the low-income districts it targets. As the pandemic suddenly raised economic stresses on poor households, a new study by Kibrom Abay, Guush Berhane, John Hoddinott, and Kibrom Tefere shows the PSNP has been effective in blunting those impacts. This and other recent research demonstrate the value of social protection programs in longer-term development strategies, particularly for fragile regions subject to disease, climate and other shocks.—John McDermott, series co-editor and Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).

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