An Ethiopian mother feeds her child Marys Meals


Mary’s Meals feeds 24,320 children in Ethiopia and has been operating in Tigray since 2017 in partnership with a trusted local organisation.

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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 lives below the International Poverty Line ($2.15). 

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. 

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 – around two thirds of the primary school-age children who are missing out on school are female.

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. 

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, it's becoming increasingly difficult to reach those in need.

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.