Ending Hunger in Ethiopia 

Donate to end hunger in Ethiopia 

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, and yet it still struggles with political unrest, high poverty rates and low education rates.* 

Ethiopia has experienced decades of political turmoil and the impoverished country is now under further stress due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and as the adverse effects of climate change continue to threaten agriculture, the base of the Ethiopian economy, the population living below the poverty line could rise. About half of all children ages five to 14 work. 

Located in East Africa and bordered by Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, interrupted only by a weak five-year Italian colonization. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for almost 50% of its GDP and a majority of the total employment. 

Donate to end hunger

The Hunger Project’s work in Ethiopia

In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicentre Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic centre of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicenter Strategy, 15,000 – 25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilize resources. The epicentre building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organizations. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project. 

Recent successes in Ethiopia 

The Hunger Project has recently achieved some successes in Ethiopia. Thus, the Jaldu Epicenter was able to achieve independence at the end of 2018 and this was officially declared in 2019. Therefore, the Epicenter now fulfils all requirements to meet the basic needs of its community members independently (and without support from the Hunger Project). By the end of 2018, 19,055 people from 33 villages had access to the Epicenter. 

The achieved score in the independence test was 81.29 of the required 80 points: 

  • 100% of small farmers use improved farm management practices 
  • 92% of community members have access to financial services 
  • 77% of children attend school regularly 
  • 67% of community members use at least one simple source of drinking water 
  • 90% of households have at least one household member who can read and write 
  • 89% of workers consult a doctor in case of illness 
  • Score regarding the indicator for the empowerment of women: 57.68 of 100 possible points 
  • 87% of women receive antenatal care 
  • 67% of births are attended by licensed nursing staff 
  • 42% of women own a small business 

Prior to this, the Meskan Epicenter had already declared its independence at the end of 2017. The opening ceremony took place in early 2018. 

Donate to end hunger

How the Epicentre Strategy helps end hunger in Ethiopia 

The Hunger Project Ethiopia is comprised of eight epicentres. Together these epicentres serve an area with 195 villages and a total population of 149,300 people. The Hunger Project Ethiopia has implemented epicentres in five districts in Oromiya, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region and Amhara regional states. 

The Hunger Project has been working in Ethiopia since 2004 and is currently empowering community partners in 15 epicentre areas to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with community partners to successfully access the basic services needed to lead lives of self-reliance and achieve internationally agreed upon markers of success, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.