Despite developing economically, Ethiopia is among one of the poorest countries in the World. National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are at almost 30 %. Ethiopia has a high illiteracy rate, with more than half of its population unable to read or write.
An undeveloped agricultural sector is not capable of coping with occasional drought and potential famine. Rapid population growth triggers deforestation and other environmental damage. In addition to its internal problems, Ethiopia is also exposed to external security threats in the volatile region of the Horn of Africa, manifested for instance in the form of an influx of Somali refugees.
People in Need, from the very start of its operations in Ethiopia, has focused on projects in five main areas of interest: Education, Agriculture, Environment, Water and Social protection.
Each of these five elements of operation is implemented alongside local and international partners to achieve effective sustainable development. Furthermore, significant attention and resources are devoted to humanitarian aid which is carried out in the case of sudden humanitarian crises, such as recurrent droughts, floods or impending epidemics.
Since 2003 then we have managed to implement projects worth more than CZK 145 million in Ethiopia. Perhaps the best known project is the public fundraising campaign, Let’s Build a School in Africa, in which citizens of the Czech Republic have so far contributed to the construction of 20 schools for Ethiopian children. Part of the project also focuses on the training of teachers for the future.