Children in Ethiopia

The situation of children in Ethiopia

Rukiya Nasser, 28, who delivered three of her healthy children, including her 3-year-old son Sabri Abdulkader, at a UNICEF-supported health center in Homosha, in the remote Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia.
UNICEF Ethiopia /2018/ Ayenew

Ethiopia is home to about 13 million children under 5 years of age - approximately 16 per cent of the total population of 96 million. By 2050, Ethiopia will have 58 million children under 18 years (6% of Africa).

Among fastest growing economies in the world. GDP increased from about 8 billion USD in 2000 to more than 70 billion USD in 2017. However, per capita income remains low at USD 783.  Ethiopia is at high risk of climate-related shocks, including droughts and disease outbreaks. Over 80 per cent of the population resides in rural areas and is dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Despite strong economic growth, 25 million people – 26 per cent of the population – live below the national poverty line, which in Ethiopia is calculated at US$0.60 per day. High poverty levels and an over reliance on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism mean shocks often translate into extended humanitarian situations that affect large parts of the country.

40% of young women are married before their 18th birthday and Ethiopia is home to 15 million child brides, of whom 6 million are below the age of 15. If recent progress is continued, prevalence of child marriage would drop to 20 per cent by 2030 and to below 10 percent by 2050.

  • 65% of girls and women (15-49) have undergone FGM/C (47.1% in age 15-19).
  • 3 million children are out of school (mainly from pastoralist and semi pastoralist communities);
  • Only 3% of children under 5 have their births registered;
  • Progress on malnutrition between 2000 to 2016 but still greater among children in rural areas (40 percent) than in urban areas (25 percent)
  • Equity: the absolute number of poor has not changed between 2005 and 2013 (25 million people);
  • Multidimensional poverty and deprivation for children very high: 90% of children (43 million) are deprived at least in 2 to 5 of the dimensions.