Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan.
What is famine?
Famine contains three elements:
• food shortage
• excess mortality
It has a greater effect on the most vulnerable in society. Famine is caused by many factors including: • poor climatic
• environmental conditions
• population growth
• market failure
Over half of the Ethiopian population live on less than US$1 a day and over 80% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihood.
Why is it such a problem in Ethiopia?
• The most commonly given reason for famine is drought, and parts of Ethiopia do have unpredictable rainfall that can lead to droughts. •
• With 80% of Ethiopians dependent on agriculture it means that drought causes many problems for income and general living.
• A main factor leading to famine in Ethiopia is poverty. Out of a population of around 80 million (2008) people, 35 million people are living in poverty. In one of the world's poorest countries, 44% of the population lives under the poverty line, more than 12 million people are chronically food insecure.
• Another factor contributing to hunger is the agricultural system. In Ethiopia, individuals do not own land, it is assigned according to the size of a family, and redistributed every few years. Every time land is redistributed it is divided between more people, so each farmer gets less. This can then lead to the farmer over cultivating and over grazing the land leading to crops not growing.
• There have been frequent conflicts in Ethiopia. In the early 1990s, 60% of the national budget was being spent on war. This then reduces the money available to improve agriculture or provide relief.
Famine can cause many to become malnourished, in 2005 around 136,000 children living in the worst-affected areas of Ethiopia were thought...