Located in East Africa, Ethiopia is historically a rich country. Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture which accounts for more than half of its economy, employing 80 percent of its population. With an estimated population of 78 million people, 78 percent of Ethiopians struggle with an income below US$2 a day. The international news is now plagued yet again with a new wave of drought and famine.
The Hunger Project has been working in Ethiopia since 2004, and empowers partners in six epicenter communities to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and lead lives of self-reliance.
Increasing Food Security
Given the recurrent period of food shortage in Ethiopia, The Hunger Project-Ethiopia continues to empower and support farmers with trainings and materials to increase and diversify their food production.
During lean seasons, food banks at the epicenters provide access to food grains for villages and households to enable them to overcome food shortages. In light of the current food crisis, Hunger Project-Ethiopia partners have been able to benefit from stocks in community food banks where the demand is overwhelming.
Improving Health and Hygiene
Epicenter health centers provide primary health care for all, especially mothers, and immunizations for children. They also teach men and women how to improve their health and hygiene.
The Hunger Project-Ethiopia has pioneered a sanitation program through the implementation of pit latrines in each household in the epicenter community.
In cooperation with the District Health Office and District Office of Women's Affairs, The Hunger Project-Ethiopia provides training to partners regarding gender equality, harmful traditional practices, traditional birth attendants training, family planning and HIV/AIDS awareness workshops.
Through its Microfinance Program in the first half of 2012, The Hunger Project disbursed loans totaling $239,456. Partners in Ethiopia deposited $37,412 in savings during the year. Of the six epicenters that are operating in Ethiopia, six have a government-recognized Rural Banks.