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Ethiopia: 30 years after the famine

Irish President Michael D Higgins with Concern staff members during his recent visit to Ethiopia.
President Michael D Higgins with Concern staff during a visit to Ethiopia. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
News5 November 2014Alan O'Reilly

30 years ago, Ethiopia was struck by a devastating famine that took the lives of about a million people. It was one of the worst disasters of the twentieth century.

Concern Worldwide - which has been working in Ethiopia for 40 years - was there, assisting thousands of people

Irish President Michael D Higgins recently visited Ethiopia to see Concern's work firsthand.

He said: "I just want to say how proud I am of the Irish state assistance; and agencies such as Goal and Concern and other NGOs that have stepped into the breach – the people of Ireland can be very proud."

Remarkable progress

Though the country still has its problems, Kate Corcoran, our country director in Ethiopia, says the situation in the country has greatly improved since 1984.

Fr Jack Finucane in Ethiopia. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
Fr Jack Finucane in Ethiopia. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

"Our teams have always worked very closely with the communities we help," says Kate.

"We like to think of ourselves as being close to the ground, in touch with the reality and with the people we serve... In the 30 years since the famine we have seen remarkable progress."

Rebuilding communities

Concern played a major role in leading the massive local and international response to the famine.

Since that time, we have continued our charity work in Ethiopia, helping to transform people's lives and to rebuild communities.

Maram and two of her children in the doorway of the building they live in

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