Assessing Progress in Ethiopia Towards Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger as Part of Goal one of the Millennium Development Goals

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Addis Ababa University


In Ethiopia, just like many African countries, it is the high incidence of poverty and hunger that served as a push factor for the adoption and integration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in to the national development plans. The progress towards achievement of the MDGs and eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in Ethiopia has not been researched after 2005 as a result of the unavailability of data i.e. the 2010 HICES and WMS. In addition to this, the agglomerated impact of external challenges such as the global economic challenge, recurrent drought and low agricultural productivity on the achievement of the MDG goal one has not been researched. In line of these gaps, the following research objectives were set including; i. showing the achievements made so far in terms of meeting the MDG goal one targets ii. Identifying the challenges encountered, opportunities gained and prospects for achieving the goal by 2015. To achieve the objective of the study secondary data were acquired from Welfare Monitoring Surveys and Household Income, Consumption and Expenditure surveys published by the Central Statistics Agency. To complement the aforementioned data, the results of Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey, variety of reports published by Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and, various agencies of the United Nations have been used. With the help of poverty headcount, gap and severity indices, the progress made so far in terms of reduction of poverty have been addressed. In addition to this, the issues of inequality and hunger have been discussed with the help of gini coefficient, Lorenz curve and anthropometric measures of nutrition. To date significant progresses have been observed in terms of halving the proportion of the poor and those who suffer from hunger. However, there appears to be a long way to go for the creation of decent employment opportunity for all. Despite the progresses made in terms of halving the proportion of the poor and those who suffer from hunger, the overwhelmingly high dependence of the government budget on external assistances and loans, the poor macro-economic management that resulted in soaring inflation and increasing trade deficit, the traditional and drought stricken nature of agriculture, climatic change and global economic challenges such as rise in food and oil prices, and the limited ability of the government to cope up with such shocks make the progresses made unsustainable and make many vulnerable to slip back again to poverty. Hence, the continuation of the current trend of strong economic growth and pro poor spending, focus on export oriented and import substituting industries and, the structural transformation of agriculture and the introduction of commercial farms are critical in terms of ensuring the continuity of the progresses made



Development goals, Millennium, Poverty and Hunger