Ethiopians needing food aid increases to 7.7 million due to drought


The level of hunger in Ethiopia now requires a serious attention. International organisations need to invest in the lives of the people of Ethiopia as the state of hunger has gotten out of hand.

It has recently been confirmed that the number of Ethiopians who need food aid owing to drought has surged by more than 2 million from the recorded 5.6 million at the beginning of the year, an official has said.

At the beginning of the year, the United Nations appealed for more aid worth more than $900 million for the Horn of Africa country, which has been hit by repeated droughts. This aid has recorded less effect as the country continue to experience the same act.

However, countries in the Horn of Africa have experienced two consecutive poor rainy seasons, resulting in one of the driest years since 1950/51. It was reported that the expected rain across large parts of the region (including north east Kenya and areas of Somalia) have either been insufficient or failed completely, resulting in crops failure and the death of livestock (from lack of water and pasture). Up to 60% of cattle have perished in some areas which eventually resulted to hunger.

Debebe Zewdie, head of public relations at the National Disaster Risk Management Commission said that some areas of Ethiopia’s Oromiya, Amhara, and SNNP regions are now facing severe water shortages, in addition to areas where the main harvests had failed this year.

“The number has risen to more than 7.7 million people. 432,000 tonnes of food is needed until the end of the year,” he told state-owned Ethiopian News Agency.

Ethiopia is a great country with diversified income means which has led to its growth but the country’s economy still depends heavily on farming, which employs three-quarters of the workforce in the nation of over 90 million people. The farming sector is the major source of revenue for the government and at the same time the source of livelihood for the people.

It was reported last year that failed spring and summer rains worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon affected 3.2 million people. The people are presently hungry hoping that things will turn better soon.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 13 million people across the Horn of Africa region currently require aid, including about 2.7 million in Kenya, 2.9 million in Somalia and 1.6 million in Uganda. In Somalia, the U.N. has warned that the country risks a repeat of the 2011 famine that killed around 260,000 people. The citizens really hope that such will not reoccur again.

Famine in Ethiopia is partly caused by natural climatic condition that no man can help. However, man can help to provide the basic needs to help the situation and save lives. A call has been made to more international aiding bodies for Africa to rescue the situation since the government cannot do it alone.

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