Ethiopia demands food aid for 6.2 million people – By Aaron Maasho (AFP)

October 22nd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA — Twenty-five years after Ethiopia’s famine killed a million people and spurred a massive global aid effort, the government appealed Thursday for help for more than six million facing starvation. (more…)

ADDIS ABABA — Twenty-five years after Ethiopia’s famine killed a million people and spurred a massive global aid effort, the government appealed Thursday for help for more than six million facing starvation.

State Minister for Agriculture Mitiku Kassa said the drought-stricken country needed 159,000 tonnes of food aid worth 121 million dollars between now and year’s end for 6.2 million people.

He said nearly 80,000 children under five were suffering from acute malnutrition and that nine million dollars were required for moderately malnourished children and women.

“Since… January, the country continues to face several humanitarian challenges in food and livelihood security, health, nutrition, and in water and sanitation,” Mitiku told donors.

In a report to mark the 25th anniversary since the 1984 famine, Oxfam called for a change of strategy towards human suffering in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country after Nigeria.

It urged donors to focus on helping communities devise ways of preparing and dealing with disasters, such as building dams to collect rain water to be used during dry seasons rather than sending emergency relief.

Ethiopia adopted a controversial aid law early this year, under which any local group drawing more than 10 percent of its funding from abroad would be classified as foreign and subjected to tight government control.

Oxfam said lessons still had to be learned from the 1984 crisis, and bemoaned that long-term strategies receive less than one percent of international aid.

“Sending food aid does save lives, (but) the dominance of this approach fails to offer long-term solutions which would break these cyclical and chronic crises,” said the report: “Band Aids and Beyond.”

“We cannot make the rains come, but there is much more that we can do to break the cycle of drought-driven disaster in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa,” Oxfam director Penny Laurence said.

“Food aid offers temporary relief and has kept people alive in countless situations, but does not tackle the underlying causes that continue to make people vulnerable to disaster year-after-year.”

Of the 3.2 billion dollars of US aid to Ethiopia since 1991, 94 percent is food which is delivered there rather than grown locally or imported from the region, said the aid group.

However, some Ethiopian regions have learnt from the adversity of the 1984 drought and the palliative effects of emergency food aid and turned to modern agriculture for sustenance.

“It was horrible. There was nothing I could do to save some of my dying neighbours,” recalls 55-year-old farmer Tayto Mesfin in Abay village, some 800 kilometres (500 miles) north of the capital Addis Ababa.

“There is nothing worse than food aid, it is never sustainable,” said Tayto, standing at the gate of an expansive wheat farm. “If the right methods are practiced, food shortages can be overcome.”

Abay residents have built silos and farmers have been provided with drought-resistant seeds as well as training with the help of Oxfam.

“Drought does not need to mean hunger and destitution,” said Lawrence. “If communities have irrigation for crops, grain stores and wells to harvest rains then they can survive despite what the elements throw at them.”

Although none of Ethiopia’s six national droughts since 1984 have been as devastating, aid groups say the grim prospects of food shortages will linger for years to come due to climate change.

Average temperatures in Ethiopia are predicted to rise by 3.9 degrees celsius by 2080, Oxfam said, making drought “the norm, hitting the region in up to three in every four years in the next 25 years.”

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

  1. ደምስ
    | #1

    Congratulation Crime Minister Melese and Leba Dr. Elani. You are doing super job. Keep begging Mr. Melese!! The Ethiopian economy will grow even higher, may be 15% a year from now. The evil Dr. Elani, please steal as much as from the poor farmers through ECX for the dictator. If you do not, you’ll be in Kaliti.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    Our great leader has been trying to hide the starvation.Now he is begging.Meles can not solve Ethiopia’s problems.He is too preoccupied with his own survival.

  3. elis
    | #3

    Our great leader has been trying to hide the starvation. Now he is begging. Melese can not solve Ethiopia’s problems. He is too preoccupied with his own survival.

  4. Basamen zare
    | #4

    I appologize 1st. for people who don’t have a geez font, this is strrictly የሃበሻ ጉዳይ በመሆኑ ነው:: ይህ ሰው ሰራሽ ረሃብ በተለይ ያሁኑ ከበፊቶቹ ትምህርት ያላገኘንበት :ያሁኑ የመለስ ጌስታፖ መንግስት ልመናን ትልቅ የገንዘብ መሰብሰቢያ ድርጅት (Enterprise) በማድረጉ ነው ::
    የአለም ባንክ ገንዘብ የወያኔን አባላት ትላልቅ የህንጻ አከራይ ባለቤቶች ከማድረጉ ሌላ በስተቀር, ለኢትዮጵያ ገበሬ ሲባል የተደረገ አንዳችም የችግር መልስ አለመደረጉ ይሕውና አይን ያፈጠጠ ልመና ላይ ገባን : ቢቢሲ በቀጥታ ተጠያቂ ለማድረግ የሞከረው ይህንኑ አገራችንን የፖለቲካ ማሳቂያ ያደረጋትን (gestapo)መንግስት ነው ::
    አርቲፊሻይል የሆነውን የወያኔን ሻጥር ካወቅን ቆየት ብንልም , አሁን የመጣብን ብሄራዊ አደጋ ደግሞ የግድ አንድ ዲያስፖራ አቀፍ ማአክላዊ, በኮንግሬስ የተደገፈና ሙሉ ትብብር ያልተነፈገው ዓስቸኻይ የእርዳታ አገናኝ ኮሚሽን ያስፈልገናል::
    ለምሳሌ:-1) 2 ሃይኒከን በቀን ከጠጣን,ዓንድ ጠጥተን የአንዱን ዋጋ ለዚህ ዕርዳታ ኮሚሽን ብናውል..
    2) 3 በቀን ከመብላት 2ቴ በልተን አንዱን ለዕርዳታችን ብናውል
    3) ብላክ ሌብል ዊስኪ ልማድ ያለብን የመጠጥ ዓርበኞች ለጊዜው ታግሰን የኢኮኖሚ ውስኪ ብንል…
    4) ዓንዱ ገንዘብ አስገኚ ዘዴ ደግሞ በየኮሚኒታችን በማንፈልገው የግል ኅብት ላይ የሽያጭ ዘመቻ…(yard sale) ማካሄድን የመሳሰሉት ይሆናሉ ማለት ነው
    5) ብዙዎቻችን ካቅማችን በላይ በመኖር ያላቅማችን ልብስና ሸቀጥ ሸማች ሱሰኞች መሆናችንን አትክዱኝም
    ስለዚህ እስራኤልን በዕግርዋ ያቆማት አምላክ ለዕኛም እጆቹን የማይዘረጋበት ምንም ምክንያት አይኖርም; የዕስራእኤል ልጆች ተፈላልገው (ያውም ዓለ ኢንተርኔት) ገንዘባቸውንና ዕውቀታቸውን አሰባስበው እንዲህ ኅያል ለመሆን ያበቃቸው አንድነትና በዕምነታቸው ጽኑ በመሆናቸው ነው …

  5. alula
    | #5

    Here we go again arrogant Legesse Zenawi is suffering of dimentia, a couple months ago he was bragging about 10% growth had been achieved and his dogs aiga and tigraionline were deceiving the public by saying no food shortage in Ethiopia, suddenly within two months urgent assistance needed for 6 million people. Our main problem is not food shortage. it is leadership shortage, we need real patriotic Ethiopians to eliminate our enmeies and 50 years old chronic problems./

    God bless Ethiopia

  6. Ethio boy
  7. Ethio boy
    | #7

    Can any body tell me why the ever Famine zone,Tigray has changed to partly secured while the ever secured South and Oromia has changed in to insecured zone???? please look the famine secured and insecured zone in following link!!!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8319741.stm

  8. Jafar
    | #8

    Hungry Ethiopia is our name. Nobody takes it as it is soley ours. We are reknown because we are conventional beggers. The report indicates that GREATER TIGRAI is OK and booming through out the last 20 years. The rest is starving including Addis Ababa. This is a curse that happened for the last 17 years. Meles cheats us as always but this time the truth of the economic reality is coming up front. The eastern part of Ethiopia especially the Somalis are hard hit. We the Somali Ethipians are straving more because we said no to his brutality and paying a price.
    Do we have to be penalized on food. If one cannot eat he is among the dead. Cannot we get a ration for survival. A “ferfari” from the wealthy GREATER TIGRAI. What is Ethiopianess when there is a disparity among the its people. Are we not Ethiopians. They eat laviashly but we starve. This is sickening. They come to our place to kill and maim us, rape our children now they are diverting the resources to kill us in hunger. Hunger is a weapon to kill and cleanese unwanted ethnic in Ethiopia.

    Meles brought it all.

  9. Teklu
    | #9

    There is no starvation in Tigray even so the land is not and never fertile and always dry. Regardless, Tigrian farmers have drought insurance recently purchased by Meles regime and that is, if there are farmers left in Tigray. As far as I know, most Tigrians farmers are now living in Addis Ababa doing Business getting rich and in the Army suppressing your families freedom.
    “THERE IS NO PEACE WITH OUT FREEDOM, THERE IS NO FREEDOM WITH OUT A FIGHT” “PUT YOUR PANTS ON”

  10. yikerbelen
    | #10

    Here is the money which TPLF’s mafias have recieved from an international communitiName of EPRDF officials stolenfund amounts and name of bank
    1, Melese Zenawi 41milion bank of Malaysia
    2,Amb Berhne gebre-kirstos=19milion new york city bank
    3.Abadi Zemo 22milion swiss bank
    4.Sebhat Nega 29milion Deutsche bank
    5.Tefera walwa 9milionbankof cannada
    6.Shimles kidie 12milionbank of cannada
    7.Addisu Leggess 14milion new york city bank
    8.Prof Endrias Eshete 7milion new york city bank
    9.Arkeb Ekubai29milion bank of Malaysia
    10.Genet Zewude6milion new york city bank
    11.Abai teshaye 19milion bank of Malaysia
    12.AMBmohammede duri 4milion new york city bank
    13.Dr Maru Yiredawu 11milion deusche bank
    14.Bereket Simon10milion deusche bank
    15.kumma MAedeksa 6milion bank of cannada
    es in the name of starved Ethiopia people

  11. Anonymous
    | #11

    the TPLF leader melesse zenawi is responsible for not answering the ethiopian famaine situation on time.The TPLF leader and his group are looting the country left and right since 1991 including donated food from the world to feed the hungry.the TIGRA LIBERATION FRONT LEADER and his group are busy to put money away in foregin banks while the ethiopian people are starved to death.down with tigrai liberation leader and his group.

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