On 21st September 2021, World Vision and its partners on the Strengthening PSNP4* Institutions and Resilience (SPIR) Project celebrated the successful implementation and completion of the project, a development food security activity, over the past five years (2016 to 2021). The SPIR national closing event was a hybrid of both virtual and in-person meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Addis Ababa.
In his opening remarks, SPIR Chief of Party, Mr. Michael Mulford, said: “The SPIR project has brought about significant impact in its targeted food insecure areas in Amhara and Oromia regions. The lives and livelihoods of thousands of food insecure households and communities have been transformed through improved and diversified agricultural practice, land management, establishing local value chains, savings and women empowerment. It enhanced livelihoods, increased resilience to shocks, and improved food security and nutrition for vulnerable rural households.”
Mr. Mulford added that the project has identified and adopted an innovative mental health model called Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Groups (IPTG), that resulted in improving the mental health of SPIR participants who went through maternal and men’s depression.
“The smooth relationship, high level of collaboration and team spirit between SPIR staff and government structures made the project successful”, said Solomon Begna, Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) Directorate Director of the Oromia Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources in his testimonial for SPIR-government stakeholder partnership.
Sarah Berry, Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Relief and Resilience Office, shared in her closing remarks that: “We [USAID] are honored to join you in celebrating success in improving the lives of Ethiopian households, communities and citizens across Amhara and Oromia regions. We are also grateful to learn from your challenges which will help improve USAID in designing activities [that] achieve maximum impact in very challenging circumstances”.
SPIR, a US$175 million USAID-funded project, is a consortium project implemented by World Vision, CARE, ORDA, IFPRI, Ambo University and Hawassa University. The project’s aim is to help households in the PSNP4 coverage areas to achieve food security for their households through a combination of savings, diversifying their sources of income through income-generating activities, skills training and institutional capacity-building. Between 2016 and 2021, the project directly benefited over 500,000 people in 15 districts in Amhara and Oromia regions.
*PSNP4 = Productive Safety Net Project 4