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Mary’s Meals feeds more than 30,000 internally displaced people every day 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.

An ongoing civil conflict in Tigray is devastating the people of the region and destroying infrastructure, leading to food and fuel shortages. More than 150,000 destitute and traumatised people – including children who have lost their parents – have sought refuge in the region’s capital, Mekelle.

Even before the current 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 marginalised and disadvantaged children in the impoverished Tigray region in the north-east of the country, close to the Eritrean border.

The Tigray region has been torn apart by major conflict since November 2020, leaving close to two million people displaced from their homes, and making it more challenging for us to reach the hungry children we normally serve. It is likely that many of the 24,320 children we were reaching pre-conflict have been seriously impacted by the fighting and they may have had to flee their homes and villages.

We are reaching more than 30,000 internally displaced people every day around Mekelle as a temporary emergency response.  In times of peace Mary's Meals would normally be feeding children in 36 schools.

Food changes the story

Help us reach the next hungry child

When did we start working in Ethiopia?

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

How many children do we feed in Ethiopia?

We usually reach 24,320 children in schools in Ethiopia. As many of these schools are closed due to the conflict, we are currently feeding 30,000 children in camps for internally displaced people

What meal do we provide?

Kinche (cracked wheat) and chickpeas, or maize and beans as part of the school feeding programme

Where are we based/where do we operate?

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?

Ethiopian birr (ETB)

What is the population of Ethiopia?

The population of Ethiopia is 120,327,543