Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for almost half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Drought struck again late in 2002, leading to a 3.3% decline in GDP in 2003.

Area: total: 1,127,127 sq km
         Land: 1,119,683 sq km
        Water: 7,444 sq km

Environment - current issues:

Deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor sanitation.

High Mortality Rate

Low life expectancy due to the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; resulting in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 82.64 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 94.08 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 70.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2008

People Living with HIV/AIDS

1.5 million

HIV/AIDS deaths

120,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: malaria
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008).

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