Ethiopia faces worst drought in years as millions at risk
Ethiopia faces worst drought in years as millions at risk.
Men, women and children in this remote region of Ethiopia scramble to receive food aid and feed their rail-thin cattle as a huge cloud of dust rises into a sky that hasn’t delivered enough rain for the past three years.
More than eight million people in drought-hit southeastern and southern Ethiopia are in need of emergency food assistance, officials said as the heads of the World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization and International Fund for Agricultural Development made a rare joint visit over the weekend.
Despite economic growth in the past decade that has made Ethiopia one of Africa’s fastest-developing countries, rural areas are suffering as the nation faces its worst drought in years.
But after having three successive years of El Nino, the country is unable to deal with it alone."
Over 27 million people in East Africa are in need of food assistance, largely because of drought, according to FAO.
While no official death tolls are available, regional officials say half of Danan district’s estimated 280,000 cattle have died, a serious blow to the seminomadic population that relies on the animals for food, transport and income.
Aid groups say an additional 2.2 million households require livestock-related assistance until the end of the year.
"During my visit to the Somali region, which is experiencing near famine-like conditions, I saw the dire need for food assistance," Green told reporters.
"We’ve got to scale up and stop working on a project-based approach," said Gilbert Houngbo, the director of International Fund for Agricultural Development as the delegation visited Ethiopia’s Tigray region, which has been praised for its land and water conservation.