Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, and yet it still struggles with political unrest, high poverty rates and low education rates.
Ethiopia has experienced decades of political turmoil and the impoverished country is now under further stress due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and as the adverse affects of climate change continue to threaten agriculture, the base of the Ethiopian economy, the population living below the poverty line could rise. About half of all children ages five to 14 work.
In 2017, Ethiopia was still feeling the effects of the political unrest that shook the country last year. The state of emergency imposed by the state was only lifted in August 2017. The general situation has calmed down, but political tensions remain, occasionally leading to protests by the civilian population. The protests are mainly taking place in the Oromia region, where the Jaldu Epicenter is located. With the exception of a few field visits, however, the project activities were carried out according to plan.
In addition, the country was shaken by heavy rain in 2016, followed by exceptionally cold temperatures. This led to considerable crop losses in all epicenters. In 2017 the rainy season was optimal for a good agricultural harvest. This helped the farmers to recover more quickly from the crop failures.
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