Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and yet it still struggles with political unrest, high poverty rates and low education rates.
Ethiopia has experienced decades of political turmoil and the impoverished country is now under further stress due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and as the adverse affects of climate change continue to threaten agriculture, the base of the Ethiopian economy, the population living below the poverty line could rise. About half of all children ages five to 14 work.
Located in East Africa and bordered by Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, interrupted only by a weak five-year Italian colonization. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for almost 50% of its GDP and a majority of the total employment.
Our Work in Ethiopia
In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicentre Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic centre of community mobilisation and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicentre Strategy, 15,000-25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilise resources. The epicentre building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organisations. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project.
The Hunger Project–Ethiopia is comprised of eight epicentres. Together these epicentres serve an area with 195 villages and a total population of 149,300 people. The Hunger Project-Ethiopia has implemented epicentres in five districts in Oromiya, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region and Amhara regional states.
The Hunger Project has been working in Ethiopia since 2004. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicentre Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with community partners to successfully access the basic services needed to lead lives of self-reliance and achieve internationally agreed upon markers of success, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Photography credits: Banner image – Johannes Ode