Ethiopia’s Challenges

Ethiopia’s challenges are as diverse as her geography, and yet, the thread of poverty is inter-woven throughout many of them.

With over 91 million people, living in a country roughly twice the size the state of Texas, Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country.  Due to reoccurring droughts and subsequent famines, and rapid population growth, arable farm land is quickly shrinking.  This means many people are leaving rural areas for more urban centres, leading to over-crowding in cities and all the complexities that go along with it.

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Ethiopia is a culturally rich, but financially poor country. According to UNICEF, almost a million people in this country, including 92,000 children, are living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, there are 650,000 children orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia. There is overwhelming need for international aid, as traditional Ethiopian community support systems have been overrun by multiple droughts and the AIDS epidemic.

Lack of access to proper education, health care, sanitation, and potable drinking water contribute to a cycle of poverty which is incredibly hard to separate from.  Ethiopia has a literacy rate of only 39%, compared to an average of 69% for Sub Saharan Africa. The average life expectancy at birth is 59 years. Only 44% of the population has access to improved drinking water, and the country’s per capita income is US$410, which is much less than the average for the regional area.  30% 0f Ethiopians live in extreme poverty.

It is easy to become disconnected from these numbers, however, these numbers all represent real people.  People who have hopes and dreams for themselves, their children, and families just like we do!  Donating to Vulnerable Children’s Society is a step in helping to break the cycle of extreme poverty in Ethiopia!