Friday, June 23, 2017

Starvation looms as food runs out in drought-hit Ethiopia



June 22, 2017 by Chris Stein


Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
Drought has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.


The Somali people of Ethiopia's southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means "equalised".
It's an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive.
But by next month, that food will have run out, aid agencies say.
Droughts are common in Ethiopia, and in past years the government and international community have mounted impressive efforts to curb starvation.
This year though, Africa's second most-populous country is struggling to find the money for , say aid agencies.
"We're looking at the food pipeline actually breaking, so the food is running out in about a month's time," said John Graham, country director for Save the Children. "After that, we don't know what's going to happen."
Distracted donors
Once a global byword for starvation and poverty after a famine in 1984-85 killed hundreds of thousands, Ethiopia has seen its economy grow rapidly in the last decade. Health indicators such as infant mortality and malaria deaths have also improved.
"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.
"The food is running out in about a month's time," Save the Children tells AFP about the drought devastating Ethiopia.
A stronger economy allowed Ethiopia to spend an impressive $766 million (683 million euros) fighting one of its worst droughts in decades in 2015-16.
This year however, things are different.
Economic growth has slowed, due in part to protests spurred by long-simmering grievances against Ethiopia's one-party state.
Donors have also been distracted by other regional crises.
To the southeast, Somalia is suffering from , with warnings it could tip into famine.
Ethiopia's western neighbour, South Sudan, has suffered four months of famine, and extreme hunger is at its highest levels ever after more than three years of civil war.
Ethiopia by contrast has a strong central government and is relatively free from conflict.
But with the situation so desperate in the region, donors aren't responding to the country's emergency as they have in the past, said Mitiku Kassa, head of Ethiopia's National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Mitiku Kassa.
In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of r
In the drought ravaged Ethiopian town of Warder, the hundreds of displaced families crowding a ramshackle camp say handouts of rice and sugar are becoming less frequent.
"They are stressed with the needs, especially from those countries which (have) declared famine," Mitiku said. "That is why it is underfunded."




Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-starvation-looms-food-drought-hit-ethiopia.html#jCp

About Me

My photo

Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.