Ethiopia lies in the horn of Africa. It consists for the most part of the vast and relatively fertile Ethiopian Highlands. Although Ethiopia lies near the equator, it has a relatively temperate climate thanks to the altitude of the Ethiopian Highlands. The exception is the lower-lying areas which have a hot and dry climate. The country has more than 110 million inhabitants, of which about one-third are Muslims and two-thirds are Christians. Many Christians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The world-famous rock churches of Lalibela have been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, although there has been improvement in economics, industrial development and healthcare in recent decades. The number of people living below the poverty line is falling steadily, but a third of the population has to live on USD 1.25 per day. Malnutrition also remains a serious problem.
The vast majority of the population lives in rural areas and farmers face problems such as the lack of an irrigation structure, a dysfunctional market and poor access to financial services.
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