Number of Ethiopians needing food aid surges to 7.7 million due to...

Number of Ethiopians needing food aid surges to 7.7 million due to drought

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, April 27 (Reuters) – The number of Ethiopians who need food aid owing to drought has surged by more than two million from 5.6 million at the beginning of the year, an official said on Thursday.

In January, the United Nations appealed for more than $900 million in aid for the Horn of Africa country, which has been hit by repeated droughts.

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, said Debebe Zewdie, head of public relations at the National Disaster Risk Management Commission.

“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.

Although it has one of the highest growth rates in Africa, Ethiopia’s economy still depends heavily on farming, which employs three-quarters of the workforce in the nation of over 90 million people.

Last year, failed spring and summer rains worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon affected 10.2 million people.

Altogether, almost 13 million people across the Horn of Africa region currently require aid, including 2.7 million in Kenya, 2.9 million in Somalia and 1.6 million in Uganda, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In Somalia, the U.N. has warned that the country risks a repeat of the 2011 famine that killed around 260,000 people.



  1. This is very sad news but not unexpected as far as I am concerned. It is happening again and again for no fault of the victims. I and many of us have been on the other side of the isle with the regime on the matters of governance usually with serious differences. But this famine is not the incursion of those whose lives are on the balance/in danger. The population explosion failed them. The leaders of the two religions failed them. Their influential elders failed them miserably. Those in tight grip of the government failed them again and again. So the victims of the consequences of erratic rain fall are 100% innocent. Therefore, they deserve our generosity as before. I call upon everyone among our Diaspora to do everything we can to help those generous and proud victims of the scourge that has not gone for good. We should send everything in our disposal to those charities that have found themselves in the thick of it helping the affected people. We should not repeat the mistakes of 1984/5. Some were saying that since that demon Mengistu was saying scathing things about the USA and since he was the leaders of the victims, why should we channel any aid through his apparatus? That was a deadly mistake. Millions perished and nobody should have been proud of that. You can imagine how agonizing death from famine is to those who starve. We should look into our budget and send a portion of what we can to the charities. And all donations are also tax deductible. Whenever we have a bite to eat, we should never forget those in the affected areas who has not eaten since yesterday. Let’s remember all those angelic children who are crying because they are very, very hungry. That is how I feel about this very sad news.