Vocational training and microcredit loans for podoconiosis patients

The project aimed to provide microcredit loans to 150 women selected from 14 mossy foot clinics, assisting them in creating income-generating activities in order to become financially independent and self-sufficient. The women were widowed or had been abandoned because of the mossy foot disease and its stigma. Once successfully treated by MFTPA, these women were to be able to continue their lives normally.

A total of 231 women received basic business training, benefitted from a microcredit loan and successfully developed income-generating activities. Fluctuations in the exchange rate and high rates of repayment of credit enabled the enrolment of an additional 81 women to the project. Activities included baking and selling Injera (the local bread), selling salt and spices, selling coffee beans and leaves, yams, fruit and vegetables, and buying and selling small domestic animals and their produce.

The Mossy Foot Treatment and Prevention Association (MFTPA) based in the south of Ethiopia has been active in the treatment and prevention of podoconiosis, a highly debilitating disease since 1999.

microcredit loans


Health / Education


September 2009 - August 2010


Wolaita Sodo / Ethiopia

With whom

The Mossy Foot Treatment and Prevention Association (MFTP


105 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 740/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
23% (2015)

Literacy rate
39% (2016)

Human Development Index
173rd out of 189 countries (2018)

Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Sub–Saharan Africa and one of the world’s poorest countries. Although economic growth is hindered by chronic food insecurity, it has enabled positive trends in reducing poverty, in both urban and rural areas. The absolute poverty rate dropped from 46% in 1995 to 8.7% 2016. Over the past 20 years, primary school enrolment has quadrupled, child mortality has been halved and access to clean water has doubled. Good progress has also been made in the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS. The country is home to the largest refugee population on the continent (730,000 registered refugees), putting additional pressure on natural resources suffering from climate-related shocks.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.