Ethiopia Ethiopia

Despite a fast-growing economy, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world

Despite a fast-growing economy, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world

Despite a fast-growing economy, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

In Ethiopia, small-scale subsistence farmers represent the largest group of the poor. Many families live without the land or resources to grow enough food.

Despite enormous potential for agricultural development, drought, disasters and volatile global markets mean that many earn very little and often go without food, particularly in rural areas. As a result almost one in three people live under the poverty line and nearly half of children under five are chronically malnourished.

Recent conflict in nearby South Sudan has meant even greater challenges: hundreds of thousands of refugees have entered the country, placing added pressure on already limited food and relief supplies. With the humanitarian situation in South Sudan expected to worsen, these numbers are likely to increase.

 Fast Facts

Population: 96.6 million
Life expectancy: 60.75 years (58.43 for males, 63.15 for females)
Infant mortality: 55 deaths for every 1,000 live births
Maternal mortality: 350 per 100,000 live births
Adult literacy rate: 39%
Access to improved drinking water: 44%
Access to sanitation facilities: 21%
GDP per capita: $1,300

Source: CIA World Factbook

Working with women

In Ethiopia, we’re working closely with some of the country’s poorest communities, particularly women in remote and rural areas, to help provide tools for sustainable change.

Women in Ethiopia are especially vulnerable, particularly female-headed households and single mothers. Gender inequality often begins at an early age; many girls, particularly orphans and those from poor families, are uneducated because boys’ education is prioritised.

As 80 per cent of the population live in remote and rural areas, providing assistance is often challenging. Child marriage is also practiced – two in every five girls are married before the age of 18 and nearly one in five girls marries before 15 years of age. This further limits girls’ opportunities to go to school and puts them at risk of early pregnancy.

We are helping women to grow more food, gain access to training, agricultural tools and resources, and basic education. We’re improving access to micro-finance – access that helps families keep girls in school by paying for their books and transport expenses.

Working within the Yakisa (Ethiopia’s traditional women’s system), we’re including men in our efforts to change behaviours and attitudes, while amplifying the concerns and priorities of women. Together, these efforts strengthen women’s participation and leadership at both a household and community level.

OTHER RESOURCES AND HIGHLIGHTS

Banner image ©Josh Estey/CARE