World, Africa

36M children lack access to basic services in Ethiopia

Housing and sanitation most acute needs of children, says report

Addis Getachew Tadesse,Munira Abdelmenan Awel   | 17.01.2019
36M children lack access to basic services in Ethiopia

Addis Abeba

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

An estimated 36 million of a total population of 41 million children in Ethiopia are multi-dimensionally poor, which means they are deprived of basic goods and services, says a new report released on Thursday by the Central Statistical Agency of the country and UNICEF.

A joint press release said the report studied child poverty in nine dimensions -- development/stunting, nutrition, health, water, sanitation, and housing. Other dimensions included education, health-related knowledge, and information and participation.

“The study finds that 88 percent of children in Ethiopia under the age of 18 (36 million) lack access to basic services in at least three basic dimensions of the nine studied, with lack of access to housing and sanitation being the most acute,” the release said.

The study, according to it, also revealed that there were large geographical inequalities: 94 percent of children in rural areas are multi-dimensionally deprived compared to 42 percent of children in urban areas. Across Ethiopia’s regions, rates of child poverty range from 18 percent in Addis Ababa to 91 percent in Afar, Amhara, and SNNPR.

“Poverty rates are equally high in Oromia and Somali (90 percent each) and Benishangul-Gumuz (89 percent),” it said.

The report underlined despite the improvements made and high economic growth, the development process of the country has not equally benefited the most vulnerable groups.

"For Ethiopia to escape out of the vicious circle of poverty and pave the way for achieving its vision to reach the level of middle income nation by 2025, it has to deepen its understanding of the multiple dimensions of child poverty," the study recommended. 

* Munira Abdelmenan contributed to this report from Ankara

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