- Ethiopia has appealed for emergency food aid for 6.2 million people following five year drought that has ravaged poor communities in the Horn of Africa.
Ethiopia's state minister for agriculture and rural development, Mitiku Kassa, appealed to donors for 159,410 tonnes of food worth $121 million, 11 tonnes of fortified blended food for malnourished children and women worth $8.9 million, and $45 million in non-food needs.
He said this year's rains were poor, leaving millions of farmers devastated while other millions go hungry even day. Ethiopia has a population of 83 million.
In a report “Band Aids and Beyond” marking 25 years since the famine that killed around one million Ethiopians, Oxfam said that imported food aid saves lives in the short term but did little to help communities withstand the next shock.
The report further said international donors need to adopt a new approach to humanitarian disasters which focuses on preparing communities to prevent and deal with disasters such as drought before they strike.
“Twenty-five years ago Ethiopia was struck by one of the worst famines in its history. An estimated one million people died and millions more suffered from extreme hunger and malnutrition. Today, millions in Ethiopia and across East Africa are facing severe food and water shortages after years of poor rains,” it said.
In August, the World Food Programme warned that with the high levels of food insecurity, an estimated 6.2 million people will require an emergency food assistance from July 2009 until the end of the year.
The drought, brought on by four years of bad harvests, has been made worse by conflict, climate change and population growth in the east Africa.
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