A Brief Look at Ethiopia: Part 2

Economic Challenges:

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Ethiopia is one of the world's least developed countries and has encountered food insecurity for its population routinely. The government and numerous NGOs have attempted to eradicate hunger through government programs and land cultivation. However, as it remains a very poor country, Ethiopia has made momentous strides in reducing poverty, cutting poverty from 44% in 2000 to 30% in 2011. This is partly attributed to the growth in agriculture in the past decade and social safety nets aimed at those in rural communities of which 80% of the population live. Additionally, Ethiopia has maintained one of the fastest rising GDPs growing at an average rate of 10.2% since 2004. However, the International Monetary Fund projects growth rates to decrease and current  political turmoil present further challenges. There remains an estimated 7.8 million people who lack food security, as a result of diminishing production, frequent droughts and political disputes. Additionally, Ethiopia’s rapid population growth has made education on water management and sanitation pivotal for combating water scarcity. Granted Ethiopia can maintain a stable political situation and empower their rural communities, they can resume the path towards unimpeded development.

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How OMPT is helping:

In July 2019, OMPT is teaming up with Arba Minch University in southern Ethiopia to teach Ph.D. students how to create videos aimed at improving mother and infant nutrition. They are partnering with the research-based University of Ghent in Belgium to measure the success of video technology in behavior change while contrasting with traditional methods. Recognizing the importance of child development, our intervention will focus on addressing appropriate pregnancy behaviors along with afterbirth techniques to promote healthy development. These behaviors will include dietary practices of the mother during pregnancy, education on the use of anemia before birth and breastfeeding. Our intervention will also focus on providing adequate education on hygiene and sanitation to combat harmful infections. We’re excited not only to make a difference for mothers and future generations but to be able to measure our success with the help of researchers!