6 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where we are

Recent data shows that the proportion of people living below the poverty line in Ethiopia has declined from 45.5 % in 1995/96 to 27.8 in 2011/12 (GTP-APR MoFED, 2011/12). This represents a significant reduction of 38.9% over the last sixteen years.

With this performance, the country needs to reduce poverty by 3.8 percentage points over the remaining three year period in order to meet the target of 24% headcount poverty by 2015. While poverty in the rural areas is higher than the urban areas, the gap has narrowed down quite significantly over the last sixteen years (1995/96 – 2011/12).

The number of people living below the poverty line (measured by poverty incidence), the distance from the poverty line (measured by poverty gap) and the level of inequality among the poor (measured by poverty severity) have declined by 34.9%,39.5,and 39.2%. Over the last fifteen years, however, income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient1) or less constant at 0.30 at national level, while it increased to 0.371 from 0.34 in urban and slightly increased to 0.274 from 0.27 in rural areas. With respect to urban unemployment, the data shows that 16.1% of male and 29.6 of female young
people (aged between 15-29 years) were unemployed in 2011/12 (GTP-APR MoFED, 2011/12), although overall, urban unemployment marginally reduced to 17.5% in 2011/12 from 18% in 2010/11, urban youth unemployment fell only from 23.7% to 23.3% for the same period (GTP APR MoFED, 2011/12).

Food poverty is also declining in Ethiopia. The hunger index, weighted equally on three indicators consisting of malnourishment, children’s underweight and child mortality, declined from 43.2% in 1990 to 28.7% in 2010/11. The 33.6% decline recorded during this period is above the 26% and 18% decline recorded globally and in Sub-Saharan Africa respectively. In addition, the number of stunted children (under the age of five) declined from 57.8% in 2000/01 to 44.4% in 2010/11 (EDHS, 2011). In 2010/11, the percentage of stunted children was only 29.7% in the richest quintile compared to
49.2% among children in the poorest quintile. The number of underweight children declined from 41% to 28.7% during the same period. This analysis indicates that significant progress has been made to reduce hunger and malnourishment in Ethiopia following the adoption of MDGs in 2000.


UNDP's work in Ethiopia

0.68 years
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for MDG1
  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Poverty gap ratio
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
    • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
    • Employment-to-population ratio
    • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption