Coronavirus in Ethiopia: Let us act!

Mutter mit Kind auf engstem Raum

A slum dwelling in Addis Ababa.

Let us not forget Africa in the Corona crisis! When even highly developed countries fall into catastrophic conditions, how does a country like Ethiopia fare? There the pandemic is exacerbating extreme poverty. These are the problems:

  • “Social Distancing” is hardly feasible. Statistically, every person has four square metres of living space in the slums.
  • The people often have no water supply. Minimal hygienic standards can hardly be maintained.
  • Parents live as day labourers from hand to mouth. If they must stay at home, the children may not get food.
  • The health system in Ethiopia has no capacity to cope with a sudden increase in the number of sick people. There is only one doctor per 10’000 inhabitants.
  • In the cities there are bulk purchases taking place. In some cities prices have already risen by ten to thirty percent. With daily wages of one franc a day, many families can no longer afford to buy food.

It hits the poorest people hardest. Even if they are spared from the Corona virus, they are threatened by shortage and possibly even hunger. Let us therefore act: Help is essential now.

Hygienemassnahme gegen Corona: Instruktion Hände waschen

Menschen für Menschen trains slum dwellers in hygiene.

This is how Menschen für Menschen is involved:

  • Hygiene: In the slums our social workers train people in “social distancing” and hygiene in slum conditions. We distribute plastic barrels with a water taps and soaps – so people have the opportunity to practice hand hygiene.
  • Education: Many young Ethiopians use cheap smartphones. We initiate posts and videos on social media to create awareness and to support preventive practices. Our posts help correct misinformation and educate people about the spread of the Corona virus.
  • Food: Food shortage is a direct consequence of the Corona crisis for the poorest families. We therefore provide malnourished infants and children with monthly survival packages, including basic food and special nutrition for malnourished infants.
  • Securing livelihoods: Our development projects in the villages are designed to help small farmers harvest and earn more, so they have enough to eat and sell their surplus in the markets in the cities: food should remain affordable for the poorest families even in the cities.


In this pandemic, we are spending a lot of time by ourselves – and yet we are all connected:  The Corona crisis can only be tackled collectively and globally. As people for people (in German: Menschen für Menschen).

Health and life chances in times of the Corona crisis

Let us act! Let us protect people from the virus and its consequences such as food shortage and hunger.

Verteilung von Lebensmitteln in Äthiopien

Menschen für Menschen distributes food to mothers with malnourished children.

With 35 Swiss francs, you can provide a food package that will ensure a family’s survival for a month.

With 54 Swiss francs, you can make possible 60 “Covid-19 information posters” in the poor settlements.

With 80 francs, two families receive water barrels and soaps for hand hygiene.


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The lesson from the Corona crisis is already clear: the world needs more cooperation and solidarity. Thank you very much for your commitment!