Elderly support programme

FIDA also runs an elderly support programme.

In many areas of Ethiopia older people are often responsible for looking after children whos parents have died or moved away from their village to seek employment.


Many of these older people are struggle to provide for themselves and lead impoverished lives without the financial means to maintain adequate food and shelter.


This observation is supported by a 2011 study carried out by HelpAge International and Cordaid, A Study of Older People’s livelihoods in Ethiopia:


‘They [older people] are … subject to the double protection bind of both needing care and protection in their older years and needing to support children, grandchildren, and ageing spouses in their care.

The impact of the HIV pandemic combined with acute economic stress has resulted in changed family structures across Ethiopia. The loss of middle generations has created family structure where almost half of Ethiopia’s orphaned children are cared for by grandparents.’

Recognition of the links between the well-being of older people and their ability to care for their orphaned grandchildren has prompted FIDA to initiate a project to contribute towards effective livelihoods of the elderly guardians of orphans.


The detailed activities to undertaken by the project include: monthly cash transfers to older people to meet their basic needs;

  • providing low-cost shelters
  • payment of health expenses
  • providing clothing
  • psychological counselling, and
  • organising a savings and credit group to provide the opportunity for older people to engage in income-generating opportunities.

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