Quick Facts

  • Official name: State of Eritrea
  • Capital: Asmara (804,000)
  • Population: 6,527,689
  • Independence: 1941 (from Italy), 1993 (from Ethiopia)
  • Official languages: Tigrinya, English, Arabic
  • Poor human rights record as government greatly limits freedom of press, speech, assembly.  Critics to the government often jailed.
  • Divided into six regions
  • Contant tensions and conflict with Ethiopia over borders
  • Economy: based largely on subsistence agriculture
  • Major religions: Christianity and Islam
  • Literacy: 73.8%
  • Climate: hot, dry desert along the coast with cooler and wetter climate inland
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • President Isaias Afworki of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (since 1993)

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 501/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 37.53/1,000 births
  • Life expectancy: 63.81 years
  • Total fertility rate: 402 children/woman
  • Health expenditures: 3% GDP
  • Physician density: 0.05/1,000
  • Hospital bed density: 0.7/1,000
  • Children under age 5 underweight: 38.8%
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.68%
  • Infectious disease risk: high
  • Infectious diseases: malaria, bacterial diarrhea, typhoid fever, dengue fever, hepatitis A
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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ASM117 - (Hold for story Eritrea-Travel by Jeffrey Gettleman) - Eritreans at an outdoor cafe on Harnet Avenue in Asmara, Eritrea, Friday, October 5, 2007.  (Shawn Baldwin for the New York Times)

Area Agencies

    Field Stories

    Communications are obviously a key component in planning a trip and coordinating logistics. Depending on the country, there may be several options available. Several aspects of communication are discussed here to help you along. Cell phones – Cellular phone technology is usually an option in most countries, but varies depending on your type of carrier. To check and see […]


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