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Ethiopia Humanitarian Aid
Save the Children has been a significant presence in Ethiopia since 1984, when we arrived to provide life-saving food, water and health services for over half a million people devastated by famine. Today, our programs have grown significantly to meet the persistent challenges that confront Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest countries. Our work focuses on its chronic poverty and food insecurity, the poor health of the general population, a growing HIV/AIDS crisis and a substandard education sector.
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Save the Children is provide life-saving help to children and families in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia whose lives are at risk due to severe food shortages sparked by drought, crop failures and livestock deaths. The UN has called this East Africa’s worst drought in 60 years.
Millions of children are in danger of becoming critically malnourished due to severe droughts in the region. Save the Children is already on the ground saving lives. We're rapidly providing food, water, medicine and crucial support to families who have lost their incomes.
Since the famine in 1984, Save the Children has grown to meet the constant challenges of a country that ranks as one of the five or six least developed in the world. Through humanitarian response and development programs throughout the country, we continue to improve the health, education and well-being of children and their families, making a difference in the lives of over 4.8 million Ethiopians.
The issues that children in Ethiopia face are some of the most challenging in the world. Even in an "average" year, the education, health and economic situation for millions of Ethiopian children can only be described as a crisis.
Frequent food shortages and periodic famine-like conditions continue to put children at risk. With inadequate health care services, many children die before reaching the age of 5. Of those that survive, only 36 percent of children attend primary or secondary school. In addition, the HIV/AIDS crisis is devastating families at a rate that is destabilizing entire communities, leaving many children orphaned and at risk for exploitation.
In Ethiopia, Save the Children has implemented cross-cutting strategies that focus on strengthening partnerships with local as well as key international agencies. Through this structure, we create stronger community-based solutions coupled with advocacy on a national level. The result means significantly more impact for our programs and their ensured sustainability. Specifically, we've focused on education, health, food security, HIV/AIDS prevention/education and saving newborn lives.
The rates of maternal, newborn and child deaths in Ethiopia are among the highest in the world. Save the Children has made significant strides by working in communities to educate mothers on basic life-saving information and nutrition, for themselves and their children. In addition, we supply key services such as vaccinations and quality family planning information, including information on how to combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Part of our success has been a result of linkages with other program components, particularly in the education sector, to include health education as part of the education curriculum.
Because of the enormity of Ethiopia's HIV/AIDS problem, Save the Children has taken an aggressively comprehensive approach, focusing simultaneously on prevention, care, support and mitigation through community-based channels. Our strategy strongly emphasizes reaching orphans and other vulnerable children, as well as high-risk groups such as transport and commercial sex workers in urban and rural areas. Our novel program has been cited for its innovation by the national HIV and AIDS structure, the HIV and AIDS Prevention Council and Ministry of Health.
Ethiopia has a neonatal mortality rate of 49/1000 births — one of the highest in the world — with tetanus infection being the second major cause of infant/neonatal death. Save the Children's approach has been to educate mothers on healthful practices while encouraging utilization of key services, like tetanus vaccinations, to improve the health of themselves and their newborns. This initiative is part of a nationwide behavioral change strategy, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). Together, we've improved the health of over 2.8 million women by providing tetanus vaccinations and promoting clean delivery practices.
Ethiopia is a land of great natural beauty, with many mountain ranges and national parks. Even though it is near the equator, the climate is varied, because of the wide range in elevations. Natural disasters are frequent here, with droughts and floods common. These have a devastating effect on the largely agricultural societies that inhabit the region.
The official language is Amharic, a Semitic language, spoken by about 27 million people. The second most popular language is Oromo, a Cushitic language, spoken by about 30 percent of the population.
The government of Ethiopia is considered a multi-party democracy, represented by a federal parliamentary republic.
Sponsorship is a special kind of giving that creates a relationship between you and the community in which Save the Children is helping to create real and lasting change. It provides more than the satisfaction that comes with aid for improving the health and well-being of children; it delivers a special opportunity to witness young lives lifted over time. Through child sponsorship, two lives are changed forever: yours and the life of your sponsored child.
Ethiopia Facts and Statistics
Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2012; Life Expectancy at Birth: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; National Poverty Rate: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; Population: CIA World Factbook 2012; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated January 2014