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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Ethiopia plans 'Live Aid' appeal
Wembley
Live Aid took place in London and Philadelphia
Ethiopia is planning to stage its own Live Aid-style concert to raise funds for some 11 million people facing starvation.

Live Aid was beamed across the world in 1985, raising some $60m, as more than one million people died in Ethiopia's famine.

But the country is currently facing a famine potentially as severe as the crisis 18 years ago.

Campaign co-ordinator Selome Tadesse, a former spokeswoman for the Ethiopian Government said the event is scheduled for 25 May in the capital, Addis Ababa.

She said an appeal song will also be launched.

The black British singer Sade who released the hit song "Smooth Operator" is one of the artists being asked to appear at the concert

The May festival named 'Birr ( the Ethiopian currency) for a Compatriot' is hoping to raise funds by asking Ethiopians to buy a ticket selling for one birr, the equivalent of 10 US cents.

The organisers hope to raise $1.7m for famine relief.

"If we are going to get out of this situation every citizen must take some responsibility in fighting poverty," Ms Salome told the UN information network, IRIN.

"We need to ask what are we doing ourselves - not donors - but what are Ethiopians doing ourselves," she said.

Donor fatigue

On Monday, aid agencies working in Ethiopia accused the donor communities of "slowly" starving millions of drought-stricken children.

With the current world situation we might not be the first ones on the list when it comes to aid flow, so if we do something we hope that might motivate donors
Selome Tadesse
The head of the United Nation's food aid arm, the World Food Programme, has warned that the international community is in danger of ignoring the needs of some 40 million people facing starvation across Africa because of humanitarian needs in Iraq.

Rations to 11 million people at risk in Ethiopia have been cut by as much as 20%, as the government tries to make limited supplies last.

Ms Salome said "At the moment there is major donor fatigue and every basket is drying up".

"With the current world situation we might not be the first ones on the list when it comes to aid flow, so if we do something we hope that might motivate donors," she added.




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