A significant amount of food produced in Ethiopia is lost after harvesting due to poor storage and transportation facilities, lack of infrastructure, and inadequate market access. It is estimated that up to 40% of the country's food production is lost or wasted, according to the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). Agricultural recovery was first conducted in adjacent small towns from Addis Ababa rescuing surplus food production from farmers struggling to find a market for the surplus crops once production is completed. Most of the time, since the cost of harvesting crops is very high, farmers tend to leave the produces to dry and die on the land. Agricultural recovery campaign mobilizes volunteers to harvest and collect crops from abandoned farm fields. IRFBE supports farmers enrolled in agricultural recovery programs by providing information on market forecasts and market-related training for informed decision-making in crop selection. Currently, IRFBE is working with farmers in Meki and Zeway to prevent post-harvest loss.
The long-term support program delivers food items and nutrition to underprivileged children and seniors who need basic food supplies daily. Long-term support programming is conducted in partnership with beneficiary agencies that shelter vulnerable people including children and seniors. IRFBE is working to increase the number of beneficiary agencies with priority to humanitarian organizations that support orphan children. IRFBE is committed to supporting these young minds and providing them with essential nutrition to help them thrive in their studies.
In addition to serving marginalized and venerable people through beneficiary agencies, IRFBE provides food assistance for individuals and households experiencing food insecurity. IRFBE collects financial and in-kind donations from individuals and organizations to support targeted households in different community groups. IRFBE mobilizes Volunteers to collect, sort, store and distribute surplus food donations. Through community outreach, IRFBE works to ensure low-income families have the means to celebrate and rejoice during public and religious holidays. Community outreach is a fun and informative campaign that fosters inclusion and hope.
Emergency response is a short-term provision designed to support people who need food assistance due to unfortunate catastrophes like conflicts, flooding, and fire. IRFBE coordinates with the existing network of beneficiary agencies, supporters and government agencies and donors to mobilize resources to reach and support communities facing emergencies across Ethiopia.