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Ethiopia seeing ‘dramatic’ increase in child marriage amid worst drought in decades

Ethiopia seeing ‘dramatic’ increase in child marriage amid worst drought in decades
Catherine Russell, Unicef’s executive director, says spike was ‘quite dramatic’

Ethiopia is witnessing a “dramatic” increase in child marriages as the Horn of Africa faces one of its worst droughts in decades, Unicef has warned.

Parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are suffering their driest conditions in more than 40 years, causing mass displacement for millions and widespread hunger.

Catherine Russell, Unicef’s executive director, told The Guardian that harsh conditions meant that Ethiopian girls faced being married at a younger age so that their parents could seek a higher dowry.