- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
By Rev. David Beckmann
Last month, I traveled across Ethiopia, talking with people in urban and rural areas about their country. In all I saw and all I heard, four challenges emerged as the major threats to continued progress against hunger in their country. Ethiopia is coping with all of them and coping well.
Climate change. Temperatures are rising, rains are less predictable, and droughts are more frequent. But Ethiopians have worked hard on a large scale to reforest denuded hills, and this has increased rainfall and raised the water table in drought-prone regions. The government and international agencies have also set up a well-organized system of humanitarian relief when drought is severe.
Conflict. Ethiopia’s biggest political challenge is tension among its more than 80 ethnic groups. In 1995, Ethiopia redrew regional boundaries to reflect the dominance of different ethnic groups in different places and then delegated money and power to the states. This has moderated ethnic rivalries for power at the federal level.
Displaced people. Continued eruptions of ethnic conflicts across the country have compelled 2.5 million Ethiopians to leave their homes and farms, and more than 1 million refugees have come from neighboring countries. The scale of displacement is even more dramatic in neighboring countries, and many more people from neighboring countries are desperately fleeing to Europe or the Middle East. Ethiopia’s current prime minister has been very active in peacemaking across ethnic lines and with neighboring countries.
Governance. Relatively effective governance is the reason why Ethiopia is handling these other big challenges as well as it is. Ethiopia has the benefit of a long-established system of local and state governments. Since the governance reforms of 1995, governments at those levels have been elected, and the new prime minister is setting the stage for multi-party elections at the national level in 2020.
Despite the challenges it faces, Ethiopia has made dramatic progress against hunger and poverty, and nearly all Ethiopian children now attend primary school. The stability and resilience Ethiopians have forged since the devastating 1984-85 famine–caused by drought and bad government–contain important lessons for other states facing conditions of fragility.
To learn more about growing hunger in fragile states, read the 2017 Hunger Report: Fragile Environment, Resilient Communities. And see what else David Beckmann learned in Ethiopia by following along on Facebook and Twitter.
Rev. David Beckmann is the president of Bread for the World.
Despite the challenges it faces, Ethiopia has made dramatic progress against hunger and poverty, and nearly all Ethiopian children now attend primary school.
By Jordan Teague, senior international policy advisor
In just five years, Kenya reduced its...
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
The Bible on...
Dear Members of Congress,
As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.