Ethiopians as poor now as 20 years ago
ADDIS ABABA, 26 Jul 2002 (IRIN) - Ethiopians are as poor now as they were 20 years ago, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The country’s per capita income is the same as early 1980's levels, the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2002 said.
It also warned that Ethiopia was “slipping back” on attempts to boost female enrolment in primary and secondary schools as compared to boys.
Infant mortality rates were also way behind UN targets – which aim to cut child deaths by two thirds – as were plans to halve the number of people without access to water.
Ethiopia is ranked sixth from bottom in the report – with only Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and Sierra Leone rating worse.
In all, 173 countries are ranked according to their level of human development – know as the human development index.
The UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which studies the economies of all African countries, said that almost half 65 million population of Ethiopia lives below the poverty line.
The situation is far worse in rural areas - which account for about 90 percent of national poverty. The difference in incomes between the rich and the poor has also grown.