Eritrea Profile

Eritrea in Africa has a rich and fascinating history. Its predecessor, the Kingdom of Askum was considered to be one of the four great civilisations together with Rome, Persia and China, however, the rise of Islam saw the kingdom disintegrate and fragment. It formed into an Italian colony in the nineteenth century and, as an Italian province, was on the wrong side of the allies in World War II. The British defeated the Italian Army there in 1941 and placed the colony under British military control. Eritrea was eventually given to Ethiopia in 1952 as part of the settlement following the Second World War, despite its plea to be granted self-determination and independence.

Some degree of autonomy was guaranteed, however, following the establishment and the crushing of Eritrea liberation movements, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia unilaterally dissolved the Eritrea parliament and annexed the country in 1962.

That action marked the beginning of a thirty year struggle for independence, and then following the defeat of Ethiopian troops in 1991 by Eritrea rebels the long awaited opportunity for independence was confirmed following a 1993 referendum.

However war between Eritrea and Ethiopia erupted once more in 1998 over disputed borders. The matter was settled in principle in 2000, however conflict remains as Ethiopia has refused to recognise the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission's findings of 2007, and there are concerns that the border dispute may well flare up again.

Today Eritrea, despite its rich past, is an impoverished nation, with around 80% of its population reliant upon subsistence farming. War, as ever, has taken its toll on the economy, with the 1998-2000 war inflicting heavy damage. Natural events have also played their role in preventing Eritrea from development, with poor rainfalls affecting harvests to the point where the country is unable to grow enough foods to meet its populations needs. Abject poverty, drought, famine and instability are the conditions into which children in Eritrea are born.



 
 
 
 
 
 

Eritrea Profile

Eritrea Profile

Eritrea Profile

Eritrea Profile

 


Eritrea History

Eritrea History

A video documentary profile of the history of Eritrea from ancient to modern times.

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Life in Eritrea

Life in Eritrea

A video documentary profile about daily life in Eritrea from a pro-government perspective.
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Volunteer Eritrea

Volunteer Work Eritrea

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and opportunities in Eritrea.
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Eritrea Profile

Eritrea Profile

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Despite this there has been some progress in Eritrea. Some 40,000 orphans have been placed back within their extended families from institutionalised orphanages. Eight thousand disabled children have left institutions to be cared for at home whilst a further 3,500 children have been integrated into mainstream schools.

Over 16,000 street children have been brought within the educational framework and the deaths rates of children from malnutrition have halved in recent years. The government has also been rolling out a vaccination program for children, currently standing at around 85% compared with just 10% in 1980 and malaria morbidity has fallen by 90%.

 
 


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