- Ethiopia has received £20 million injection to tackle the emerging food and humanitarian crisis due to heavy drought that hit the country early this year.
Ethiopia which refuted reports by international media last month on the current food crisis as bogus and exaggerated has over 4.6 million Ethiopians in desperate need of food, following a severe drought which struck the east African country since early part of the year.
In some parts of the country, health centers and feeding clinics are already being overwhelmed with large numbers of severely malnourished children which is now being extended to the elderly, reports have shown.
According to a statement released Department for International Development (DFID), assistance has been doubled from £10 million in May since the country declared an emergency appealing to international donors for a helping hand.
The recent food prices hike and poor rainy season in the southern and eastern parts of Ethiopia, which are the country's agricultural sites have resulted in serious food shortages in the country which led to food prices increase to around 300% in Ethiopia.
"Up to one hundred thousand people are being treated in emergency centres with extreme cases of malnutrition and the United Nations estimate that a further 4.6 million are at risk as a result of the food shortages," said DFID statement.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Douglas Alexander said crippling drought and rising global food prices resulted to food deficiency in Ethiopia.
"Close to five million people are at risk of starvation unless we take immediate action and it is for this reason that Government is giving an additional fund to confront the problem," he said.
He stated that the fund would ensure more people would be fed but said further aid is needed, hence appealing to other international donors to bring forward additional funding to secure food for Ethiopians who are currently in the food crisis.
The funding would be disbursed through Non Governmental organizations and UN agencies to scale up emergency feeding programs.
Meanwhile, Group of Eight leaders from rich nations said on Tuesday they are committed to achieve their aid target for Africa, and pledged to raise annual aid levels by $50 billion by 2010, as per their commitment in their 2005 Summit.
G8 leaders also said they acknowledged aid from the group and other donors should be reassessed and might need to be increased for the period after 2010, beyond their current commitments.
Africa's development as well as the food crisis and climate change is placed high on the agenda for the three-day G8 summit that ends on Wednesday in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
The UN has been providing solid assistance to help Ethiopia address its current challenge. The Horn of African country has a history of the world's worst famine that killed a million Ethiopians in October 1984.
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