Hunger in Ethiopia

Hunger in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a Sub-Saharan African country fringed by Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Eritrea. For the past few decades, the Ethiopian government has implemented institutional reforms in order to transition to a stable market economy. This transition would also reduce poverty, improve health, education and infrastructure in the endeavor to establish a stable economy.

Although Ethiopia has made remarkable economic strides and has secured its position as one of the most efficient economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is still one of the poorest nations in the world.

In order to raise awareness of the severity the epidemic hunger in Ethiopia, the World Food Programme has complied a comprehensive list of facts that every global citizen should know regarding the hunger crisis in Ethiopia.

As mentioned above, Ethiopia has taken steps to improve its economy, an endeavor that in turn has also improved nutrition within the nation. Yet, despite this marked progress, Ethiopia still remains embattled by malnutrition.

The true extent of this malnutrition is appalling. According to the report “Cost of Hunger in Africa”, child malnutrition costs Ethiopia 16.5 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year.

Furthermore, nearly 40% of Ethiopian children are underdeveloped, suffering from a condition known as “stunting”, which arises when individuals miss critical periods of development due to a lack of a proper diet.

Not only are these children physically stunted, they also experience a stunt in academic achievement. For the individuals who survive the complications of childhood malnutrition, stunting persists throughout adulthood as well.

As approximately 67% of adults in Ethiopia experienced stunting as children,  the majority of Ethiopians are not able to reach their maximum physical or educational potential in part due to hunger.

Additionally, nearly half of health issues arising from malnutrition manifest themselves before the child has lived to see his or her first birthday. Unfortunately, this early onset of malnutrition related health issues has also contributed to nearly 30% of child fatalities in Ethiopia. These child fatalities in Ethiopia have contributed to an approximate 8% reduction in the total Ethiopian workforce.

The cycle of poverty, hunger, and death in Ethiopia ensnares the nation in a stage of underdevelopment. Poverty and hunger in Ethiopia simultaneously attacks the population, holding the nation back from its full potential.

However, food programs and continued economic expansion can help the nation become not only one of the most stable economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also become a global competitor.

– Phoebe Pradhan

Photo: Action Against Hunger
Info Please, WFP, Rural Poverty Portal