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Ethiopia

Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 82,825,000 (2009)
National language: Ahmaric
Other major languages: Afan Oromo, Somali, Tigrigna, Afar, English
Per capita income: US$ 330 (2009)
Life expectancy: 56 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
38% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
12% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 104/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Ethiopia is unique among African countries because, with the brief exception of Italian invasion during World War II, it was never ruled by a colonial power. It is one of the oldest independent countries in the world.

Located in the Horn of Africa and roughly twice the size of Texas, landlocked Ethiopia has borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and Sudan to the west. Civil war, combined with the spillover of violent conflicts in surrounding countries, has created a large number of refugees which tax the country’s capacity to provide for its citizens.

Nearly 80 percent of Ethiopians work in agriculture, growing cash crops like coffee and qat, a stimulant drug that is legal in Ethiopia and surrounding countries. Recurring droughts have hit the agriculture industry hard in the past few years, leading to widespread food shortages. Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries and is heavily indebted.

Plan Ethiopia works with children and their families, helping to provide emergency food relief while simultaneously promoting better food security by teaching sustainable and efficient farming practices. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.