Children in Ethiopia eating Marys Meals

Ethiopia

Mary’s Meals feeds more than 30,000 internally displaced people every day in Ethiopia!

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Where we work

Ethiopia is one of the poorest and most drought-prone countries in the world. Almost a third of the population earn below the International Poverty Line ($1.90 per day) and 31% of people do not have enough food.

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 hunger.

The current conflict in Ethiopia is a complicated web of competing parties and politics; however, the main victims of the conflict are undoubtedly the people of Tigray. 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 almost two thirds of children failing to complete their primary education. Girls are particularly disadvantaged – and on average receive less than half as much schooling as boys.

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 conflict and they may have had to flee their homes and villages.

We are reaching more than 30,000 internally displaced people every day at 22 centres around Mekelle as a temporary emergency response, in times of non-conflict Mary's Meals would normally be feeding in 36 schools.

A line of internally displaced people's collecting rations from food station
When did we start working 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.