Decades of war have destroyed Eritrea's
economy and a large majority of the population lives in
extremely difficult conditions. Agricultural production
is not enough to cover the need for food even during
good years; Regular drought means that there is a
constant risk of starvation.
According to the UN, two out of three residents
suffer from malnutrition, one of the highest numbers in
the world. Many children are inhibited in the plant due
to malnutrition. At the same time, Eritrea has made
great strides: maternal mortality and mortality among
children under five has declined sharply since
independence in 1993.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Eritrea, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Large investments in health care began after
independence in the 1990s, but the development that
started then stopped in some respects during the 2000s.
Today, there is a shortage of both trained healthcare
personnel as well as medicines and equipment. In 2009,
for the first time, doctors graduated from an education
The government's resistance to interference from
outside limits both the flow of aid and the world's
insight into what is happening in the country. The
state, which has strong control over the economy, has
set up a chain of stores that sell staples at subsidized
Infectious diseases are common. The main causes of
death, especially for infants, are diarrhea,
tuberculosis and malaria. However, according to
government data, the mortality rate in malaria has
decreased significantly following investments in
mosquito nets, better information and increased access
to medicine. The HIV epidemic has also been successfully
fought and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is low for the
Gender discrimination is prohibited by law. Despite
this, women have a lower position in society and poorer
access to both the labor market and the judiciary. Rape
is a criminal offense but is often reported to occur
against women who do military service or civil service
in various camps. Marital rape is only illegal if the
couple is separated and do not intend to move back
together. Female genital mutilation is also prohibited
but is still practiced, especially in rural areas. State
campaigns against female genital mutilation are being
carried out and in the cities the intervention has
decreased in scope.
Child prostitution, child pornography and sexual
exploitation of children are criminal. Street children
are rare. There is an 18-year limit for military service
and for employment in the labor market. Childbirth is
not prohibited and sex mutilation of girls occurs
despite the ban.
Homosexuality is prohibited by law and can be
punishable by up to three years in prison. It is
described as difficult to live as a LGBT person in
Eritrea and LGBT people are being persecuted.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
31 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.7 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
19.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
11.9 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
3.3 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 30 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
22 percent (2018)
The football national team jumps off
Almost the entire Eritrean national football team disappears after
participating in a tournament in Uganda. After a similar tournament in Tanzania
in 2010, 13 national team players disappeared, many of whom eventually received
political asylum in the United States.
Minister seeks asylum in Canada
Information Minister Ali Abdu, formerly close ally with President Isaias
Afwerki, resigns and seeks asylum in Canada.
US faces sanctions on spy chief
The US faces personal sanctions against the head of the Eritrean Army
intelligence service, Colonel Tewolde Habte Negash, who is held responsible for
the government's contacts with al-Shabaab. The sanctions mean that his potential
accounts in the US are blocked and he is prohibited from doing business there.
The UN Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea reports that it has not found
any evidence that Eritrea would have provided direct support to al-Shabaab in
the past year. The group believes that this is due to both the pressures of the
outside world and increased tension between the Eritrean government and the
Islamist group's leadership. On the other hand, the UN group believes it has
evidence that Eritrea helped Ethiopian rebels enter their homeland via Somalia
and sold weapons to Sudanese arms smugglers.
Ethiopia attacks rebels
Ethiopian troops attack a rebel base in southeastern Eritrea, about 15
kilometers from the border. This is the first time the Ethiopian military has
crossed the border since the 1998-2000 war.