Ethiopia, neighbours under severe drought

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Tue Apr 4 05:49:52 PDT 2000

Monday 3 April 2000

Ethiopia, neighbours under severe drought UNITED NATIONS: Poor and infrequent rains in the horn of Africa have resulted in severe drought in Ethiopia and its neigbouring countries and the conditions may reach the proportion of 1984-85 calamity in which around one million people had perished because of starvation, UN officials said. The UN officials said the number of people needing food aid might reach more than 12 million in Greater Horn of Africa and it could go up to 16 million if neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi were taken into consideration. One million tonnes of food aid might be needed, 80 per cent of which would go to Ethiopia, the worst affected. Countries like Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda also require food aid. The World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday that armed conflicts and a large number of refugees and internally displaced people had also contributed to the situation. It plans to provide 370,000 tonnes of food to 6.1 million drought-hit people in the region, but estimates that 940,000 tonnes of food may be needed in 2000. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed WFP executive director Catherine Bertini as his special envoy on the drought in the region, UN deputy emergency relief coordinator Carolyn McAskie told a press conference in New York on Thursday. Bertini would travel to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Eritrea in April following meetings with Annan in Rome next week, McAskie said. "This catastrophe can be averted with the right type of donor assistance," McAskie said, adding that is why why the Secretary-General was taking preemptive action. (PTI) For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
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