Eswatini is a lower middle-income country with a gross domestic product of US$ 4.06 billion (2015) and a population of 1.2 million. The country has a national poverty rate of about 63 per cent and an unemployment rate of 41 per cent. HIV prevalence is at 31 per cent. Eswatini was ranked 148 of 187 countries on the 2015 Human development Index.
The food security situation in Eswatini has not fully recovered from the 2016/2017 El Niño drought emergency, and some 159,000 persons remained food insecure during the 2017/2018 lean season. The 2017 Annual Vulnerability Analysis Assessment found that the maize yield was not sufficient to meet Swaziland needs and food prices remained significantly higher than before the drought.
The Eswatini economy is closely tied to that of South Africa, where 90 per cent of imports come from and to where 70 per cent of exports are sent. Agriculture and mining are the key elements of the economy.