Ethiopia appeals for food aid for over 6 million

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The government of Ethiopia has appealed the international community for food aid for 6.2 million people that it says are in danger of starvation.

Mitiku Kassa, the Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture, said that the country needs about 159,000 tonnes of food aid, worth US$121 million, between now and the end of the year.

Location of Ethiopia in map of Africa
Image: Rei-artur.
..the country continues to face several humanitarian challenges..

—Mitiku Kassa

"[Since] January, the country continues to face several humanitarian challenges in food and livelihood security, health, nutrition, and in water and sanitation," he said to donors. Kassa added that close to 80,000 children younger than five years old were affected by acute malnutrition.

This comes after a lengthy drought hit the region, also affecting the neighbouring countries of Kenya and Somalia. Droughts in Ethiopia can bring about especially disastrous effects, as the economy is dependent mainly on agriculture, and over four fifths of the population lives off the land.