Some fact about Ethiopia
Ethiopia is situated in the horn of Africa and currently has a population of about 79 Million people. It is a country of great contrasts, often stunning, sometimes surprising, and full of ancient culture and a deep religious feeling.
Ethiopia was one of the very first countries to adopt Christianity as a state religion (305 A.D.). Its civilization dates back millennia. The dominant type of Christianity in Ethiopia is Eastern Orthodox with a large Muslim minority. Until 1974, the year of the communist revolution, Ethiopia was ruled by the longest serving Imperial dynasty in the world. In ancient times, Ethiopia with the source of the Blue Nile in the centre of its territory was an important trading partner and actually an extension of Pharaonic Upper Egypt.
In modern times, Ethiopia has had the misfortune of being torn apart twice by brutal foreign power, first by Fascist Italy and then by the Soviet Union. In both cases, acts of genocide were committed by the aggressors, and the economy was torn apart from within, to the benefit of the foreign invaders.
Today, 25 years after the period known as “red terror” when internal wars were fostered, soviet armaments were sold in outrageous quantities and ordinary farmers were recruited to fight and die, Ethiopia is the victim of a generation gap.
This ensued the tragic famines of the ’80s and beyond. Furthermore from 1961 to 1991, neighboring Eritrea fought a long war of independence against Ethiopia, which ultimately led to a referendum and peaceful separation in 1993. Through this war, Ethiopia lost access to the strategic and commercially important port of Massawa on the Red Sea.
Another Ertitrean-Ethiopian war took place from 1998 to 2000, forming one of the most dramatic conflicts in the Horn of Africa in the last decades. The two countries – although very poor – spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war and suffered the loss of tens of thousands of their citizens who were killed or wounded as a direct consequence of the conflict The only result was minor border changes.
Today, Ethiopia is a politically stable country under a Democratic Republic constitution. The current government is positive towards economic regeneration, and sees commerce as a key route to achieve it.
But the situation is still extremely serious:
- “It was said that an estimated three million Ethiopians have been exposed to the disease (HIV/AIDS), with over 600,000 children made orphans and one third of Ethiopia’s hospital beds used by carriers of the virus.” -Situation Report for Ethiopia April 1999. UN Country Team Ethiopia.
- Malaria is prevalent in 75 per cent of the country, putting over 50 million people at risk. During an average year an estimated 80,000 Ethiopian children die from malaria. During the last major epidemic in 2003 an estimated extra 40,000 people died from malaria. There were also up to 16 million cases of malaria – 6 million more than in an average year.
- The 2006 Horn of Africa food crisis is an acute shortage of food affecting four Horn of Africa countries: Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated on January 6, 2006, that more than 11 million people in these countries may be affected by an impending widespread famine, largely attributed to a severe drought, and exacerbated by military conflicts in the region.
Population (2005) 77.4 million World Health Organization
Different ethnic groups (2006) 83 USAID
Annual growth rate of population (2006) 2 million Population Action International
Population under 18, in 2004 (2006) 39 million UNICEF
Population in rural areas (2006) 85% USAID
Population in sub-Saharan Africa (2005) Second most populous country World Bank
Population internally displaced by conflict (2005) 168,000 World Health Organization
Average life expectancy (2005) 42 World Bank
Economic Status Source
Rank of development (2006) 99 out of 203 on UNDP Human Poverty Index
Per capita income (2006) Under $100 World Health Organization
Population subsisting below $2/day (2006) Close to 80% World Health Organization
Population below basic needs poverty line (2002) 44% Ethiopian Economic Association, in Haile
Population subsisting food insecure (2005) Over 50% World Bank
Population affected by 2003 drought (2005) 14 million World Bank
Reproductive Health Source
Average births per woman (2004) 6.14 United Nations Population Division
Average number of children, rural areas (2005) 6.4 World Bank
Females giving birth before age 19 (2003) Over 40% Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association (NEWA) and Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association
Females using contraceptives (2004) 13% World Bank
Males using contraceptives (2004) 17% World Bank
Rural population using modern contraceptives (2004) 4% World Bank
Women approving family planning (2005) 60% World Bank
Husbands approving family planning (2005) 34% World Bank
Adults wanting family planning services to space or limit childbearing, if available (2001) Over 45% Central Statistical Authority and ORC Macro
Women with access to prenatal care, in 2000 (2005) 27% World Health Organization
Births attended by skilled personnel, from 1996-2004 (2006) 6% UNICEF
Births in health facilities (2005) 5% World Bank
Deaths during childbirth (2006) 850 per 100,00 live births World Health Organization
Deaths from pregnancy-related causes (2000) 1 in 14 women World Health Organization
Deaths from pregnancy & abortion-related causes (2006) 1 in 7 women Population Action Intl.
Deaths from unsafe abortions (2004) 90 per 100,000 live births World Health Organization
Percentage of females seeking abortions who are under age 18 Over 50% PPGG
Primary Health Source
Population with use of adequate sanitation facilities (2005) 15% World Bank
Rural population with use of adequate sanitation facilities, in 2002 (2006) 4% UNICEF
Population with use of improved drinking water sources (2005) 24% World Bank
Population with access to public health facilities (2006) 61.3% USAID
Population more than 10 km (6 miles) from nearest health facility (2006) Over 50% World Health Organization
Physicians per 100,000 people (2006) 3 World Health Organization
Population moderately to severely underweight (2006) 38% World Health Organization
Population stunted (2006) 47% World Health Organization
Population at-risk for malaria (2006) 3.1 million World Health Organization
Women dying from tuberculosis (2006) 96 per 100,000 World Health Organization
Country rank of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa (2005) 5th World Bank
Percentage of HIV/AIDS cases in the world (2005) 7% World Bank
Overall HIV prevalence, adults 15-49, in 2003 (2006) 4.4% of population, or 3 million people WHO
Adults infected weekly (2006) 5,000 World Health Organization
Age group with highest rate of infection 15-24 years; female prevalence 3 times greater than among males USAID in PPGG Fact Sheet
Women living with HIV, 15-49, in 2003 (2006) 770,000 UNICEF
Mother-to-child HIV transmission 2nd highest number of new infections/year USAID in PPGG Fact Sheet
Children dying from AIDS (2005) 1 in 16 World Health Organization
Children orphaned by AIDS, aged 0-17, 2003 estimate (2006) 720,000 UNICEF
Women aged 15-49 with FGM, from 1998-2004 (2006) 80% UNICEF
Girls undergoing FGM Up to 90% United Nations
Women’s Status Source
Women marrying before age 18 57% National Committee of Traditional Practices of Ethiopia
Women experiencing rape, in total population (2004) 25% World Bank
Children’s Status Source
Newborns dying before age 1, from 1995-2000 (2005) 1 in 10 World Bank
Children dying before age 5, often from preventable diseases, from 1995-2000 (2005) 1 in 6 World Bank
Main causes of early childhood deaths (2005) Diarrhea and pneumonia World Bank
Orphans, 2003 estimate (2006) 4 million UNICEF
Children under age 5 stunted from lack of nutrition (2006) Over 50% USAID
Literacy, adults (2005) 41% World Bank
Literacy, women (2006) 26.4% USAID
Primary school attendance, females (2002) 50% Ethiopian Economic Association
Primary school attendance, males (2002) 72% Ethiopian Economic Association
High school attendance, females (2002) 8.5% Ethiopian Economic Association
High school attendance, males (2002) 12% Ethiopian Economic Association