Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country, with the majority of people living in rural areas. Despite significant economic gains and improvements in access to essential services like health and education, millions continue to do without basic needs such as clean water and a healthy diet.
Hunger: food insecurity is a deep-rooted problem for Ethiopia with many people vulnerable to drought, acute malnutrition and, at extreme moments such as faced the country in the mid-1980s, starvation.
Water: only 48% of Ethiopians have access to clean water with this figure dropping to just 26% in rural areas. This means people have to travel long distances to get water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and agriculture. As a result health and therefore productivity in communities is poor.
HIV: while HIV prevalence has stabilised at a rate of around 2.1% of the adult population, knowledge of the virus and how it is transmitted remains poor. This lack of understanding fuels stigma against people living with the virus which in turn prevents people speaking openly about it or sharing information about prevention.
Our work in Ethiopia is predominantly in the country’s south which has seen particularly slow rates of development. We focus on working through partners to support groups within society who are often neglected.
We are helping people increase their yields through methods that effectively use the little water available to them; raising awareness of HIV and supporting people living with the virus; improving access to clean water in rural areas.
As well as bringing water to around 50,000 people in Ethiopia’s Wulbareg and Sankura districts by capping a spring and installing pipes, our partner Water Action has ensured that thousands of villages have improved sanitation by building 65 latrines which have been used as a model by communities who have built 2,500 more.
By working with Muslim and Christian faith leaders our partners, including the Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development, Dialogue and Action, are able to reach thousands by capitalising on the regard in which religious figures are held to challenge stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
What you can do
• Help us continue our work in Ethiopia and around the world by donating.
• Help us eradicate poverty and injustice by taking action
• Our east Africa appeal: in June 2011 Christian Aid launched an emergency appeal for east Africa after drought and food shortages put 10 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
• Inspirational women, Frie Aregaw: Christian Aid supported partner OSSA to train counsellors to support people living with HIV (On the Christian Aid Youtube channel).
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