Poverty in Ethiopia

Essay by Mehmood April 2010

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Poverty in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a nation located in North East Africa, and a source of most of its financial woes is the fact it is a landlocked nation. To reach any ports, Ethiopia must negotiate with other nations. Most of their port negotiations are done with the bordering nation, Eritrea, which is also the cause of a lot of armed conflict. As far as demographics are concerned, it is home to seventy one million people. Thirty one percent of those citizens are Muslims. The main export of the nation is coffee, which poses a problem for the people because it is a crop that has no nutritional value. If the coco bean crop is sparse, the people have little money to purchase food. This is exactly what happened in 2003 when a famine occurred. Fourteen million Ethiopians were victim to this famine (Blij & Muller, 2004). Wars, unfavorable climate conditions, and soil lacking in nutrients contribute to the factors that cause Ethiopia to be disease ridden.

When a devastating virus like AIDS is mixed in with extreme poverty, the threat is very severe. First of all, the HIV virus, if left untreated can cause death within five years. HIV is a progressive disease and without extensive treatment the virus mutates into AIDS. With treatment, people can live long, productive lives with HIV. However, treatment costs money, something that the people of Ethiopia lack. Those that die of AIDS often leave behind children, who are then left orphans. The orphanages lack the funds to pay for these children's education so they are left uneducated about the AIDS virus. One of the reasons AIDS spread so rapidly in Africa is because of the lack of education for rural villagers. Until recently, villages did not know how the virus was spread. Children...