HI works in Ethiopia to improve access for vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, to humanitarian services. The organisation also aims to improve people with disabilities' inclusion in society; making sure that the children with disabilities can go to school and that adults with disabilities are able to work and participate in community life.
A blind girl learns Braille at school | © M. Feltner / Handicap International
HI is currently working to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people in Ethiopia and to ensure inclusion of refugees and internally displaced persons. For example, the organisation provides stimulation physiotherapy for malnourished babies and children in refugee camps, to stimulate their growth and reduce the risk of developmental delay. HI also conducts house-to-house visits to identify girls not attending school to allow them to access an education.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HI has continued to help the world’s most vulnerable people. We have adapted our interventions in more than 45 countries.
The second largest country in terms of population in Africa, Ethiopia has 112 million inhabitants. Its demographic weight has been increased by the constant influx of refugees whose essential needs are barely met.
Ethiopia has long been considered as a stable country, but deep clan tensions and inter-communal violence persist. With recent political changes and subsequent unrest, it is hard to predict whether the relative stability will last. Two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian ethnic Somali population.
Ethiopia is periodically facing terrible droughts. This leads without exception to large numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance. EG from 2.9 million (2015) to 8.4 million in 2019. The country hosts people displaced by cross-border movements due to drought, conflict, political upheaval and civil wars in neighbouring countries (Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan). There are also large numbers of internally displaced persons, initially forced to move due to drought.
Over the last 15 years, Ethiopia has undergone significant economic and social changes and has recorded some of the highest growth rates in the world-over 10 % in some years. However, Ethiopia’s Human Development Index and its relative ranking have not moved significantly during the past decade. Health services are limited, notably those dedicated to people with disabilities. Ethiopia is also one of the Sub-Saharan African countries the worst affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Number of Handicap International staff members: 60
Date the programme opened: 1986