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Ethiopia is the 18th most densely populated country in the world, with more than 100 million inhabitants. Population numbers are swollen even further by massive and recurrent inflows of refugees, and this worsens an already fragile health situation.
The country frequently takes in people who have been displaced in cross-border movements caused by drought, conflict, political upheavals and civil wars in neighbouring countries (Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan). Drought has also displaced extremely large numbers of people internally. Ethiopia is one of the countries with the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than 600,000 refugees, according to the UNHCR.
The number of refugees has continued to rise due to conflicts in neighbouring countries, and the food crisis in the region which has only become more acute since 2011. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the country will continue to receive asylum seekers from its neighbours because of its geographic location, climatic phenomena, and geopolitical events which frequently affect the region.
There is significant economic growth in Ethiopia. Despite this, the health situation remains fragile and health services limited, in particular those dedicated to people with disabilities. Ethiopia also remains one of the Sub-Saharan countries the most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.