About UNODC Eastern Africa

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Building on more than 20 years of engagement in Ethiopia, UNODC’s current support for the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is guided by our National Plan of Action 2019-2021.

Endorsed by the government, the plan is designed to meet their specific needs and signals an expansion for UNODC across key pillars, reinforcing our strong presence and relevance in Ethiopia.

It sets out the government’s strategic policies and priorities for our work planning and is aligned to the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa. Implementation is led by our Programme Office in Ethiopia (POETH) situated in Addis Ababa.

Priorities include formalizing linkages to the African Union and to other regional offices located in Addis Ababa, including the UN family, and supporting the establishment of a regional AIRCOP hub in Addis Ababa.


Our activities include existing and scaled-up programme implementation in the areas of:

  • Crime prevention and the administration of justice, including prison reform
  • Transnational Organized Crime and counter-terrorism
  • Global Maritime Crime
  • Anti-corruption and illicit financial flows
  • Wildlife crime and container control programmes
  • Health and social development programmes.

Crime prevention and criminal justice

UNODC’s assistance to anti-corruption efforts, crime prevention and criminal justice in Ethiopia falls in line with our mandated activities which include upgrading crime prevention and criminal justice systems as well as promoting the Rule of Law. Among our activities under our programme on Criminal Justice and Integrity in Ethiopia, UNODC aims to support the government’s efforts to combat corruption and to strengthen criminal justice institutions by improving the effectiveness of investigation, prosecution, access to justice, fair trial and execution of penal sanctions, and by securing the protection of vulnerable groups.

Work across criminal justice and integrity is focused on development of a national crime prevention strategy; professionalization of the justice system through achieving improved effectiveness, and integrity within the Judiciary and Prosecution services; Prison reforms and working with the Police.

Transnational Organised Crime

In the context of UNODC’s mandate and Regional Programme, we are implementing programme activities as part of the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme aimed at improving migration management in the region, in particular addressing trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants within, and from, the Horn of Africa. The BMM programme is a regional, multi-partner project funded by European Trust Fund, and managed by the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

UNODC is one of the main implementing partners alongside the International Organization for Migration, Expertise France, Italian State Police, the Société de Conseil et de Service du Ministère de l’Intérieur (CIVIPOL) and the British Council.

The BMM programme officially closes in September 2019. UNODC has focused on the areas of:

  1. Policy harmonisation, where UNODC has supported expert technical assistance for the revision process of Proclamation 909
  2. Capacity building where we have provided technical assistance in building capacities of the judiciary, law enforcement and prosecutors in order to address cases of trafficking in person and smuggling of migrants, including the development of specialised units (child exploitation, cybercrime).

Blue Heart campaign

The Blue Heart Campaign is a UNODC global awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society. It seeks to encourage involvement from governments, civil society, the corporate sector and individuals alike, to inspire action and help prevent this heinous crime.

The campaign is supported by many countries, but until now no Eastern African countries have taken part. That is set to change following the launch of the campaign in Ethiopia with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and other partners in October 2019. Details of the campaign partnership are being finalized, including follow-up activities that will have a lasting impact.

Visit the Blue Heart Campaign.

Health and social development

UNDOC supports the promotion, adoption and implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based, gender and youth responsive national and regional responses addressing drug use and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Key partners

UNODC has worked with an increasing presence in Ethiopia since 1995. We engage with the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ethiopian national authorities to plan and implement our support.

We continue to work closely with partner criminal justice institutions, including the Justice and Legal Systems Advisory Council and the Judiciary Advisory Council, the Federal Office of the Attorney General (FOAG), the Federal Supreme Court (FSC), the Federal Police Commission (FPC), the Federal Prison Administration (FPA) as well as the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Health (MOH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, formerly known as the Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority of Ethiopia).

We engage with the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) to leverage regional resources and scale up our relations with the African Union, as part of our commitment to Delivering as One.

More information

Email: unodc-easternafrica@un.org