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Mary's Meals children in Ethiopia


Mary’s Meals is reaching more than 45,000 children in Ethiopia.

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Where we work

Life in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is currently ranked 175 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI), one of the poorest and most drought-prone countries in the world, with more than a quarter of its population living below the International Poverty Line ($2.15 per day).

Many children and their families face a daily struggle for survival, particularly in rural areas where most Ethiopians live. Recurring periods of severe drought and unpredictable rainfall make it almost impossible for people to grow enough food, causing widespread poverty and hungerIn Ethiopia, 36.8% of children under five have stunted growth.

A two-year civil conflict in Tigray devastated the people of the region and destroyed infrastructure, leading to food and fuel shortages. More than 150,000 destitute and traumatised people – including children who had lost their parents – sought refuge in the region’s capital, Mekelle.

Even before the recent conflict, school drop-out rates were high with more than 60% of children failing to complete their primary education. Girls are particularly disadvantaged and around two thirds of the primary school-age children who are missing out on school are female.

children learning in an outdoor classroom

Mary's Meals in Ethiopia

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Ethiopia since 2017.

We work with a trusted local partner to provide meals to children in the troubled Tigray region in the north-east of the country, close to the Eritrean border.

The Tigray region was torn apart by a major conflict, and many of those who were displaced by the fighting have only recently been able to return to their villages. Following more than three years of disruption to their education, children beginning to return to the classroom. But with the situation as it is, they desperately need school meals to be able to stay in school. We have reinstated and extended our school feeding programme to reach more children in the region. We are currently providing more than 45,000 children with much-needed meals every school day.

When did we start working in Ethiopia?

Mary’s Meals began serving meals in Ethiopia in 2017.

How many children do we feed in Ethiopia?

We are currently reaching more than 45,000 children in the Tigray region of Ethiopia with daily meals in school.

What meal do we provide?

Kinche (cracked wheat and chickpeas), or maize and peas.

Where are we based/where do we operate?

Our programme operates in the Tigray region, in the north-east of Ethiopia.

What is the capital of Ethiopia?

The capital city of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa.

What language(s) are spoken in Ethiopia?

Ethiopia has five official languages: Afar, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, and Tigrinya.

What currency is used in Ethiopia?

The Ethiopian birr (ETB).

What is the population of Ethiopia?

The population of Ethiopia is 124,937,000.