In Ethiopia, one of Africa's poorest countries, nearly 85% of people are dependent on subsistence farming. During recent years of civil strife, investment in agriculture and industry has been minimal. An oppressive state was toppled in 1991 and recent years have seen the establishment of multiparty democratic elections and the adoption of a constitution.
Although peace and democracy have enabled aid to flow in to Ethiopia, its welfare statistics are still bleak. The average life expectancy in Ethiopia is 45.5 years; 58.5% of its people are illiterate, and a staggering 1 in 6 children die before their fifth birthday.
ActionAid  is a development charity with a strong commitment to working alongside local people and organisations in order to establish better rights for the world's poorest people, and the provision of basic needs that most in the developed world take entirely for granted. More than that, ActionAid are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and have made education, HIV and AIDS, food, emergencies, women and girls their main priorities.
ActionAid's work in Ethiopia is focused very much on the specific challenges being faced there. Since 1989 it has reached over 7000,000 of Ethiopia's poorest people, bringing better access to healthcare, clean water and education. They also provide immediate relief in times of emergency.
The charity have been training farmers in Ethiopia to use innovative techniques that increase the size of their crop yields whilst conserving soil and water. They also nurture small business by making affordable loans available to the very poorest.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth expertise in fighting poverty. ActionAid partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not to impose Western solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Ethiopia  today will cost you just 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit your child and will be able to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings from them, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child in Ethiopia through the following trusted agencies: