Increase in child marriages
Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with an estimated 40 per cent of girls marrying before the age of 18. And in areas experiencing extended periods of drought – a symptom of the climate crisis – there has recently been a dramatic increase in girls being forced to marry while they are still children.
‘In these desperate circumstances, families may resort to marrying their daughters off to wealthier families,’ says Simba Nyamarezi, who oversees Tearfund’s work in Ethiopia. ‘They sometimes believe that their daughters will have better chances of survival this way, and they can also use the money from the daughter’s dowry to feed their other children.’
Refugees and displaced people
With food and water scarce and the harvests failing, more and more people are forced to leave their homes and move elsewhere in the hope they can find food, work and refuge.
The people who leave are often exploited for cheap labour. And with the entire region suffering from the effects of the drought, it’s not a crisis many can escape from.
Those who are left behind in communities are often vulnerable and are forced to rely on begging or handouts from their neighbours to survive.
*Names changed to protect identities