APCO Worldwide has inked an open-ended contract to provide strategic communications and media relations services to Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country with 121M people, which has been ravaged by war and drought.

Ethiopia was the site of the world’s bloodiest war last year, according to Comfort Ero, head of the Crisis Group.

An estimated 600K died in Ethiopia’s Tigray region between 2020 and 2022 as the government battled the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Nigeria brokered a deal between the two parties on Nov. 2.

Ethiopia also is battling a long-term drought that puts 28M of its people at risk.

The International Rescue Committee ranks Ethiopia as the country, after Somalia, most at risk of a worsening humanitarian crisis in 2023.

APCO’s job is to further the Government of Ethiopia’s commitments to its citizens and international partners "to build a just, prosperous and stable nation,” according to its contract inked on July 27.

The DC firm also will promote Ethiopia as a destination for foreign direct investment.

It will receive a monthly fee of $158,537 under the agreement that “shall continue indefinitely.”

Margery Kraus, APCO founder & executive chairman, and Seleshi Bekele Awulachew, Ethiopia’s US ambassador, signed the master engagement agreement.

APCO has a seven-member team assigned to the Ethiopia account.