Why Ethiopia

* Ethiopia is home to 4.6 million orphans.  That is the same number of children under age 18 who reside in Massachusetts, New York State, and Washington DC combined. If every parent in those places died tonight – that would be similar to Ethiopia’s orphan crisis.

* More than half a million of children are orphaned as a result of AIDS.

* Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The average income in Ethiopia is US$100 a year. Almost 82% of the population lives on less than $1 a day.

* Malnutrition levels are among the highest in the world.

* Only 42.7% age 15 and over can read and write.

* Only 18% of children reach grade five.

* Life expectancy in Ethiopia 39 years for males and 42 years for females.

* The leading cause of death is communicable diseases such as malaria, typhoid, meningitis, cholera, AIDS, tuberculosis, yellow fever.

* One in ten children die before their first birthday

* One in six children die before their fifth birthday

* Woman have an average of 7 children and the maternal mortality rate is 1 in 14

* Ethiopia’s neonatal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world – 49/1000 births with tetanus infection being the second major cause of infant/neonatal death.