Ethiopia is one of the World’s poorest countries. Out of a population of around 90 million people, 40 million people are living in abject poverty. In one of the world’s poorest countries, where about 44 per cent of the population lives under the poverty line, more than 12 million people are chronically or at least periodically food insecure.
Most of them live in rural areas with agriculture as their main occupation. With 80% of Ethiopians dependent on agriculture as their main livelihood, severe arid conditions due to persistent lack of rainfall coupled with civil disputes have worsened Ethiopian poverty.
All efforts have been made to improve conditions in Ethiopia but things have hardly changed. The extremely poor people comprise of the small and marginal farmers.
Areas where poverty in Ethiopia is pronounced:
Poverty in Ethiopia is more pronounced in the rural areas as compared to the urban areas.
The situation worsened recently because of sharp increases in the prices of food and fertilizers on world markets, which made it more difficult for poor households in Ethiopia, as elsewhere, to secure adequate food supplies.
Rural areas have uniform distribution of poverty, Oromiya, being an exception. Oromiya cultivates enset, which acts as a buffer storage at the time of drought and dearth.
Climate Changes Increasing Ethiopia Poverty
Increased poverty, water scarcity, and food insecurity are just some of the negative impacts set to hit small-scale farmers and pastoralists in Ethiopia as a result of climate change in the region. While Ethiopia is no stranger to climatic variability, having suffered droughts that have contributed to hunger and even famine in the past, climate changes is set to make the lives of the poorest even harder. The persistent lack of rainfall is a major factor in rural poverty. Recurring droughts leave poor farming families without food crops, causing periodic famines. People lack coping mechanisms for facing drought-induced famines, and contingency planning is inadequate.
Causes of poverty in Ethiopia:
Some of the causes of poverty in Ethiopia are:
- Arid conditions leading to irregular production in the agriculture sector.
- Improper marketing strategies of agricultural products.
- Degrading ecology
- Technological know how being poorly developed.
- Transportation facilities are poorly developed.
- Failure of the rural people in participating in awareness programs meant for them
- Absence of sufficient rainfall
- Shortage of food products owing to several conditions.
- Absence of proper socio economic infrastructure. This includes lack of potable water, proper education and health programs.
- Unstable political scenario.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is driving poor people even deeper into poverty, depriving families of the young adults who are their most productive members. It is estimated that about 6 per cent of Ethiopia’s adult population is HIV-positive. Together, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and malaria seriously affect the health of large numbers of Ethiopians, many of them in rural areas.
Probable remedies for poverty in Ethiopia:
Some remedies that are suggested for bringing about a reduction in the Ethiopian poverty level are the reduction in the growth of population and macro economic stability. Families, which are run by the womenfolk, are especially susceptible to poverty in Ethiopia. The womenfolk do not participate in awareness programs. This results in innumerable deaths of infants, malnutrition, and illiteracy in the poor families. Efforts should be made to influence women and other less privileged people to participate in various awareness programs pertaining to family planning, education and health benefits.