BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 09:18 GMT
Ethiopia launches food appeal
Hungry villagers in Ethiopia (pic: WFP)
The rains failed and now Ethiopians need help
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, has made an urgent appeal for 1.4 million metric tons of food aid, as his country faces a famine potentially as severe as the 1984 crisis.

The United Nations says it has enough food to last until early next year, but the needs for the rest of 2003 are still to be met.

Across Ethiopia, just over 11 million people are facing starvation.

Mr Meles told the BBC that he had already secured World Bank guarantees of up to $100m in aid - but that would only be used as a last resort if donors failed to respond to the appeal.

The executive director of the UN children's fund (Unicef), Carol Bellamy, has said the world needs to act now to deal with the food crisis triggered by drought.

After visiting one of the worst affected areas she warned of the dangers of donor fatigue, saying the international community must not wait for deaths from starvation.

Need

BBC East Africa correspondent Andrew Harding says that in arid north-eastern Ethiopia many communities have already lost most of their cattle and the animals' skeletons lie in the dust.

Thousands of people are on the move, walking huge distances in search of aid.

Aid arrives in Ethiopian village (pic: WFP)
As many as 11 million Ethiopians need help next year
"I hope the donor community this time will respond without delay to avert the crisis from taking place," Ms Bellamy said.

She added that Ethiopia itself needed to look at improving irrigation, developing drought-resistant crops and digging more wells.

The total aid package that the Ethiopian Government and UN are requesting is worth about $575m.

The country's harvest is almost in and the scale of the current crisis is apparent.

The amount of food aid requested by the Ethiopian Government is approximately what the international community has been expecting.

But the government has already blamed donor fatigue for the looming crisis and says that unless donors respond swiftly many people will die.

Last month, the Ethiopian Government warned that the country faced a famine worse than that of 1984 which killed nearly one million people and sparked a major international relief effort.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jim Fish
"Eleven million Ethiopians are threatened by famine"
Ibrahim Jabr, UNICEF
"This time we are a little better prepared"
Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Prime Minister
"The numbers involved are staggering"

Key stories

Horn of Africa

Southern Africa

West Africa

Ways to help

CLICKABLE MAP

IN DEPTH

TALKING POINT
See also:

18 Nov 02 | Africa
14 Oct 02 | Africa
06 Aug 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes