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Friday, 7 February, 2003, 17:27 GMT
Eritrea in severe need of food aid
The UN's Kenzo Oshima (l) and Abraha Garza (r) examine dead sorhgum in Mogolo
The crops are failing, like in Southern Africa and Western Sahel.
Two-thirds of the 4.1 million Eritrean population are facing serious food shortages, the United Nations has warned.

As many as 10,000 children are severely malnourished, and some have started to die, says the head of the UN office for humanitarian affairs in Eritrea, Musa Bungudu.

Children are having to walk between three to five hours in order to get a few litres of water to drink

Musa Bungudu
"The situation of drought in Eritrea really is very bad. We are appealing to the donor community, we're appealing to the national and international media to please try to allocate to us as much as possible," he said.

"Children are already dying because they don¿t have anything to eat."

Mr Bungudu said the international community had so far failed to respond to the crisis, and food reserves will run out in two months time.

Response

Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have been hit by a severe drought, and Mr Bungudu estimated that Eritrea needed $150m to meet its food needs to the end of the year.

There has been a major international response to the drought in neighbouring Ethiopia where more than 11 million people are at risk of starvation.

But Eritrea has barely received anything and faces huge challenges.

"Children are having to walk between three to five hours in order to get a few litres of water to drink." Mr Bungudu said


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01 Nov 02 | Africa
01 Oct 02 | Africa
06 Aug 02 | Africa
26 Jul 02 | Africa
25 Jul 02 | Africa
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