The Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) was founded in 1970 through the initiative of the Norwegian and Swedish Save the Children organizations seconded by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. The Institute got its name from the Norwegian physician, Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who first described the leprosy bacillus (Mycobacterium leprae). AHRI was established as a biomedical research institute located next to the All Africa Leprosy Rehabilitation and Training Hospital (ALERT).
AHRI acknowledges receiving core-funding from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation(Norad) in addition to Ethiopian Government contribution, which it uses to support among other things students' research within the scope of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) programme. These include epidemiological and social studies for characterisation of poverty-related and neglected diseases.